Volkanovski Targets Topuria Rematch in Spain: 'I’m Going to Get That Belt Back'

UFC
February 21, 2024
Alexander Volkanovski is maintaining a strong sense of resolve on the heels of his second consecutive knockout loss.

Volkanovski relinquished the featherweight title to Ilia Topuria in the UFC 298 headliner this past Saturday, as he succumbed to a devastating right hook from his opponent at the 3:32 mark of Round 2. The defeat ended a championship reign at 145 pounds that had lasted more than 1,500 days for the 35-year-old Australian.

In a video on his YouTube channel, Volkanovski assessed his performance, pointing out some of the positives that occurred before the decisive punch landed.

“This is a crazy game we play,” he said. “We can’t win them all. Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the nail. Last fight I was the nail; I’ve been the hammer many times. I’ve ruined a lot of people’s parties many times. [Saturday] night, Ilia got the job done.

“I thought I was doing great. I felt great in there. I think the judges had me up the first round, and I think I was starting to pick it up even more in the second,” Volkanovski continued. “I was ready to even go another level. I had him missing, I was starting to touch him, and I was going to start adding on, and he did a great job of getting me to the cage where we knew we didn’t want to be with someone like him.

“He got me there when I probably had better options than looking for a counter. After he backed me up there, he caught me. He did a great job to find that, a great shot, and that’s all you need in this sport.”

While Topuria has only been lukewarm regarding a potential rematch, Volkanovski seems to be intent on making it happen — and he’s willing to do so in the champion’s home country.

“Next time, it’ll be different, but I’m going to just have a little bit of a rest,” Volkanovski said. “I definitely want that rematch. Spain, what I’m hearing, is going to happen. Dana wants Spain, obviously Ilia wants Spain. That probably won’t be until later in the year.

“So the timing would be perfect for me to spend time with the fam, rest up a little bit, look after myself and then we’ll get back in there. We’ll make it right on my end. I’m going to do everything right for the next one, and I’m going to get that belt back. Mark my words.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Volkanovski-Targets-Topuria-Rematch-in-Spain-Im-Going-to-Get-That-Belt-Back-192680

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