clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Alex Volkanovski admonishes silly UFC fans for suggesting Ilia Topuria stands a chance — ‘I’ll show you he doesn’t’

Rising 145-pound title contender Ilia Topuria is the toast of the featherweight town after beating the brakes off grizzled veteran Josh Emmett in the UFC Jacksonville main event last month on ESPN, with some pundits suggesting “El Matador” is the man to beat reigning division kingpin Alexander Volkanovski.

Assuming Yair Rodriguez doesn’t do it first in the UFC 290 headliner.

LIVE! Watch UFC 293 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

MASSIVE MIDDLEWEIGHT MATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Sydney, Australia, for the first time in five years on Sat., Sept. 9, 2023, with a 185-pound world title fight inside Qudos Bank Arena. In the ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight roost-ruler, Israel Adesanya, plans to silence No. 5-seeded contender, Sean Strickland. In UFC 293’s hard-hitting Heavyweight co-main event, No-6-ranked fan favorite, Tai Tuivasa, locks horns with towering Russian, Alexander Volkov (No. 8).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“Everyone’s hyping him up, everyone wants that fight,” Volkanovski told “Believe You Me” podcast (transcribed by Farah Hannoun). “He likes to talk, as well, which I like, so that would be exciting. So, it’s definitely something that, if the UFC brought to me I’d be like, ‘Yeah, sweet, no worries.’ Again, a lot of people are hyping him right up. I view him a lot different than a lot of people are, to be honest. But I mean, everyone’s hyping him up, thinks he’s that good.”

Topuria, 26, is a perfect 14-0 in his pro MMA career, which includes six straight wins under the UFC banner. Putting the hurt on Emmett sent “El Matador” all the way up to No. 5 in the official featherweight rankings. No question he’s worthy of a spot in the 145-pound title conversation but Volkanovski (25-2) appears underwhelmed.

“So like, all right, sweet. I’ll show you how good I am, because I see a lot of holes in his game, a lot of things that I could capitalize on,” Volkanovski continued. “So I would love that fight, but obviously I’ve got Yair to worry about, so I don’t want to disrespect Yair by sounding like I’m not paying attention to him. If [Topuria] wants this and the UFC want it and the people want it, people think he’s going to stand a chance, I’ll show you that he doesn’t.”

As Kevin Lee taught us, it’s probably not a good idea to poke another opponent’s holes the week before a fight.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania