UFC 298 Main Event Preview: Alexander Volkanovski – Ilia Topuria

Jul 2, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Alexander Volkanovski (red gloves) reacts before a bout against Max Holloway (not pictured) during UFC 276 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC 298, the featherweight title is on the line. The champion and in my opinion the greatest featherweight of all time Alexander Volkanovski (26-3) will look to defend his title successfully for the sixth time as he takes on surging top contender Ilia Topuria (14-0).

Starting with the challenger who is definitely not lacking confidence. Ilia Topuria is so confident that he’s going to become champion tomorrow that on his Instagram, he labels himself as the featherweight champ with a 15-0 record. He thinks this title fight is going to be like the rest of his UFC career thus far.

So far, Topuria has been nearly flawless inside the octagon. A perfect 6-0 record and he really only ran into trouble once and that was getting dropped by Jai Herbert. However, he bounced back extremely well in that fight knocking Herbert out. However, he’s never faced someone like Alexander Volkanovski.

The champion is coming off a second loss to Islam Makhachev in his last fight challenging for the lightweight title. Volk has been flawless at featherweight but a year ago, he moved up and pushed Makhachev to the limit at UFC 284 losing a razor close decision. They rematched on short notice in October with Volk getting stopped in the first round.

However, that was Volk off the couch and that was up a weight class. At featherweight, he’s been incredible. Last summer he completely dismantled and stopped Yair Rodriguez in the third round moving to 13-0 at 145. He’s looking to say perfect at featherweight tomorrow and further his legacy.

UFC 298 Prediction

These two fighters are so good and I think we could be in for a helluva title fight at UFC 298. Ilia Topuria presents a number of challenges for the champion. He’s incredibly fast and powerful with his boxing. He also has tremendous wrestling and has shown tremendous skills on the ground.

He’s very well-rounded wherever the fight goes. However, the same can be said about the champion. Volkanovski has tremendous striking and is unbelievably strong when things get in tight. There isn’t a place that Topuria can take this fight where Volkanovski won’t be comfortable. He’s grappled with Makhachev and he’s struck blow for blow with Max Holloway.

Volkanovski is absolutely incredible and he holds a huge card in his back pocket for this fight. That card is experience. This is going to be a war and we haven’t seen Topuria have to dig deep in this type of fight. He also hasn’t faced this level of fighter where Volkanovski has been in there with the best 145 and 155 has to offer.

I think Ilia Topuria is a future UFC champion, but until someone beats Volkanovski at 145, I can’t pick against him. It’s going to be a tremendous fight, but with all the chips down, I’m betting on Volkanovski retaining in an action-packed decision.

Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski by Decision

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