UFC 298 Recap: Ilia Topuria knocks out Alexander Volkanovski to become featherweight champion

MMA: UFC Fight Night - Jacksonville - Emmett vs Topuria
David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

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

Since making his octagon debut, Topuria has made it look easy. He’s dominated the likes of Bryce Mitchell and Josh Emmett to earn this shot at the title. Outside of getting caught by a head kick from Jai Herbert, he’s been essentially flawless. However, he faced by far the toughest test of his career tonight.

Alexander Volkanovski lost twice last year, both to lightweight champ Islam Makhachev (one on short-notice). In between those losses, he dominated and stopped Yair Rodriguez to move to 13-0 at featherweight in the UFC. He’s simply the best of all time in my opinion and nobody has challenged him at 145. Tonight, he was looking to make another statement against a hungry challenger.

UFC 298 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 298 main event kicks off with a touch of the gloves. Topuria holds the center and here we go. High kick attempt early from Volkanovski. Body kick now from the champion. Now a leg kick, Volkanovski working the kicks early. Topuria plotting forward here. Huge right just misses from Topuria.

Body kick from Volkanovski and now a jab. Head kick blocked by Topuria. Topuria is just stalking the champion here looking for a big shot. Powerful leg kick from Topuria spins Volkanovski around. Jab from Volkanovski and another calf kick lands for Topuria. Leg kick from Volkanovski and a jab from Topuria.

Right over the top lands from Topuria and a powerful leg kick lands. Topuria plots forward and eats a body kick from Volkanovski. Calf kick lands for Volkanovski and now a body kick. They both trade jabs in the center. Big combination from Topuria and he ends it with a big right hand.

Body kick from Volkanovski. One minute left in the round and Volkanovski lands another kick. Two straight calf kicks from Volkanovski. Big straight left from Volkanovski and another calf kick. Jab from Volkanovski. Entry from Topuria and he eats three straight knees from Volkanovski. The round comes to a close and I have it 1-0 for the champ at UFC 298.

Round 2

Entering the second at UFC 298 and both men had moments in the first. Sharp left from Topuria and now a jab from Volkanovski. Topuria moves forward with big combinations but nothing lands clean. Body kick from Volkanovski and Topuria plots forward. Jab to the body from Topuria and now a big combination.

Volkanovski against the fence and Topuria unloads. Volkanovski gets some space and now he lands a right. Jab from Volkanovski. Kick and a jab from Volkanovski. Another nice jab from Volkanovski. Huge right over the top from Topuria. Calf kick from Topuria. Both men trade jabs in the center.

Volkanovski doubles up on the jab. Body kick and a leg kick from Volkanovski. Right from Volkanovski lands. Two straight lefts from Volkanovski and Topuria lands a right. Jab from Volkanovski and a leg kick. Stiff jab from Volkanovski and a right from Topuria. Topuria lands a huge shot and Volkanovski is out cold. Ilia Topuria is the new UFC featherweight champion. Wow!

Ilia Topuria def. Alexander Volkanovski by KO – Round 2

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