Topuria knocks out Volkanovski to claim featherweight title

mma18 February 2024 06:35| © Backpage TXT

Ilia Topuria is the new featherweight world champion after knocking out Alexander Volkanovski in the main event of UFC 298 at the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California, on Sunday morning.

Volkanovski came into the match as one of the most dominant champions in UFC history and boasted an unbeaten record in the weight category, but Topuria needed less than two rounds to dethrone ‘The Great’, finishing the fight with a thunderous right hook that knocked his opponent out clean.

Topuria dominated most of the first round, following smart leg kicks with crisp punching, though Volkanovski adjusted well and ended the round strongly. The second round followed a similar pattern until three-and-a-half minutes in when the Spanish-Georgian fighter landed a crushing right hand that dropped Volk and ended the fight.

“The only person you need to achieve anything in his life is yourself, trust yourself,” said Topuria in his post-fight interview.

He added, “It doesn’t matter where you come from if you know where you’re going, what 's in front of you is more important than what’s behind you.”

Volkanovski was gracious in defeat, but immediately called for a rematch: “Well done to him, he caught me,” said the Australian, before adding: “Maybe we do a rematch over there in Spain.”


The co-main event saw Robert Whittaker bounce back from a defeat to Dricus du Plessis (who went on to win the middleweight championship) by overcoming Paulo Costa via unanimous decision in a thrilling, strike-heavy bout.

“I needed to make amends [for the loss] to Dricus, I’m not going anywhere,” said ‘The Reaper’ after the fight.

In the rest of the main card, Ian Machado Garry claimed a split decision win over Geoff Neal in the welterweight division; Merab Dvalishvili outpointed Henry Cejudo in a bantamweight match; and Anthony Hernandez submitted Ramon Kopylov in the second round of their middleweight opener.

The next UFC event is a Fight Night at the Arena CDMX in Mexico City on the morning of Sunday 25 February 2024, headlined by a rematch between elite flyweights Brandon Moreno and Brandon Royval.

UFC 298 – Main card results

- Main event: Featherweight championship: Ilia Topuria def. Alexander Volkanovski via knockout (punches), R2, 3:32

- Middleweight: Robert Whittaker def. Paulo Costa via unanimous decision (29-28 29-28 30-27), R3, 5:00

- Welterweight: Ian Machado Garry def. Geoff Neal via split decision (30-27 28-29 29-28), R3, 5:00

- Bantamweight: Merab Dvalishvili def. Henry Cejudo via unanimous decision (29-28 29-28 29-28), R3, 5:00

- Middleweight: Anthony Hernandez def. Ramon Kopylov via submission (rear-naked choke), R2, 3:23