Featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski is gearing up for a high-stakes title defense against Ilia Topuria at UFC 298, and he's got a chip on his shoulder. Despite being the reigning champion and a proven master of mixed martial arts, Volkanovski, at 35, feels he's been underestimated and labeled as old, bad, or washed up.
"I'm still the 145-pound champion of the world, a supremely well-rounded fighter, and quite literally what my nickname indicates," Volkanovski stated.
His upcoming fight against the undefeated Topuria presents a unique challenge, as the Spanish superstar exudes unshakeable confidence. Volkanovski is particularly motivated by Topuria's talent and confidence, as well as his return to the featherweight division after a tough loss at lightweight.
"I didn't want anyone else fighting him," Volkanovski said of Topuria. "I wanted to make sure I got a young, hungry undefeated guy that's got hype around him."
Volkanovski is confident in his abilities and sees this fight as an opportunity to teach Topuria a lesson. Despite acknowledging the challenge Topuria poses, Volkanovski believes he will crumble his opponent early in the fight.
"I think I crumble him inside one and I get the finish soon after that," Volkanovski predicted. "He's young, he is confident, I'll humble him."
With his sights set on a dominant performance, Volkanovski aims to silence any remaining doubters and solidify his place as one of the best in the featherweight division.