“You haven’t swum with the sharks yet,” Alexander Volkanovski trashes Ilia Topuria for delusional thinking ahead of UFC 298

Alexander Volkanovski responded to Ilia Topuria's recent claims of dethroning him following his recent defeat against Islam Makhachev.


“You haven’t swum with the sharks yet,” Alexander Volkanovski trashes Ilia Topuria for delusional thinking ahead of UFC 298

Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria for UFC 298 (Image via Imago / X)

Alexander Volkanovski criticized Ilia Topuria‘s confidence ahead of UFC 298. The featherweight champion labeled Topuria as “delusional” and stated that he has not faced the real deal yet.

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Alexander Volkanovski aimed to embarrass Topuria in the featherweight title defense. He asserted that Topuria needed humbling and challenged his well-rounded skills. In an interview with News Corp, Volkanovski said:

He thinks he's the king already. Mate, you haven't even swum with the sharks yet...'He should be confident, but he's starting to get a little delusional.

Alexander Volkanovski, returning after a knockout loss, justified his decision to face the unbeaten Topuria in this important fight. Volkanovski suffered a shocking first-round knockout loss to Islam Makhachev at UFC 294. The defeat had raised questions about Volkanovski’s future in the featherweight division. A potential bout against Ilia Topuria would allow him to revamp his status once again.

The MMA community emphasized the significance of this fight for Volkanovski. They acknowledged its potential to silence critics and solidify his status. Ilia Topuria had boldly claimed he would defeat Alexander Volkanovski, even vowing to finish him in the first round. Meanwhile, Volkanovski, the reigning UFC featherweight champion responded, calling Topuria “delusional.”

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However, Topuria currently ranks No. 5 in the 145-pound rankings. He expressed confidence and was open to fighting Volkanovski in enemy territory, even in Australia. The anticipation for a potential matchup between Topuria and Volkanovski has generated significant attention within the MMA community.

Alexander Volkanovski wants an immediate fight against Ilia Topuria after UFC 294

Alexander Volkanovski was determined to face Ilia Topuria in a UFC title fight in January. He has expressed his refusal to take a break despite recent speculations. Volkanovski, with a record of 26-3 in MMA, had initially been rumored for a title defense against Topuria before accepting a short-notice fight against Makhachev.

Alexander Volkanovski
Alexander Volkanovski wants an immediate fight after UFC 294 (Image via Imago)

Despite his recent bout, Volkanovski maintained his focus on the January matchup. He emphasized his readiness and dismissed the need for a break. The champion’s determination showed his dedication to maintaining an active fight schedule. On his YouTube channel, Volkanovski said:

I talked to the UFC and I said keep me busy, and I say that because, again, I’m in my prime, I need to fight...A lot of people are like, ‘He needs a break and this.’ I don’t need a break. I want to get back in camp.

Alexander Volkanovski lost to Islam Makhachev at UFC 294. This loss marked Volkanovski’s second setback against Makhachev. The first one was a decision loss at UFC 284 in February. Despite the defeat, Volkanovski expressed good spirits and a determination to return to the cage for future featherweight defenses.

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