Alexander Volkanovski On UFC 300 Main Event – “I Can Come Save The Day, Like I Always Do”

There is still a gap to fill at the top of April’s UFC 300 card, but featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has some thoughts on the scenario.

Volkanovski (26-3) is set to square off this Saturday at UFC 298 versus the undefeated Ilia Topuria (14-0). While many view Topuria as one of the Australian’s most challenging opponents at 145-pounds, Volkanovski is absorbing motivation from that opinion, and is confident he has the ability to deliver under pressure.

“All these narratives, I love it,” Volkanovski said Wednesday at UFC 298 media day. “Everyone knows I thrive in these moments. When people doubt me, it’s the best.”

“I’m ready for a young, hungry prospect to come and bring a fight,” Volkanovski said, before adding, “but I won’t be surprised – and you shouldn’t be surprised – if I make it look easy. I’m not saying that’s exactly how it is. I’m not cocky like that. I’ve prepared properly, but if he doesn’t land a punch and I rag-doll him and make him look like nothing in there, you shouldn’t be surprised.”

(h/t MMAJunkie.com)

Back in October at UFC 294, Volkanovski stepped in on extremely late notice to rematch Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title. This bold move saved the card after Charles Oliveira suffered a cut in training and was unable to compete versus Makhachev.

Unfortunately for “The Great”, the lightweight titleholder was the better man that night, and delivered a nasty head kick that took Volkanovski out in the first round. Given the violent nature in which the lightweight challenger and current featherweight king was dispatched, many speculate that this could be the beginning of a career decline for him, and that Topuria is getting his shot at the perfect time.

But, Volkanovski expressed during the UFC 298 media day earlier this week that he is ready to prove that this was just a speed bump, and the knockout loss is in no way going to define the remainder of his time in the UFC.

“It doesn’t get to me,” Volkanovski said. “If I didn’t go out there and do what happened in October, these conversations are much different – believe me. You can say all you want, ‘This is the guy (to beat me).’ Post-fight press conference, it’s gonna be a totally different conversation.”

(h/t MMAJunkie.com)

Additionally, Volkanovski briefly touched on the currently undeclared main event at UFC 300. The two-time lightweight title challenger has seemed to cultivate a persona that reflects an “anyone, any time” type of mentality, and he reinforced the persona by offering to be involved on the monumental card in April following a quick turn around from this month’s UFC 298.

“I think they’re struggling still — maybe, it seems like they could be, I don’t know, wherever they are — with UFC 300. I know a guy!” Volkanovski said. “There’s plenty of time. Just so you know that. Just in case there’s anything happening. Dana, Hunter, you know a guy. I’m going to go do business, ruin someone’s party — or a few people’s party — and then I can come save the day, like I always do.”

(h/t MMAJunkie.com)

In spite of some of the recent comments regarding Volkanovski’s age, and insinuating that he is slightly ‘over the hill’ in his career, the Australian champion released an extremely comical video on social media. Evidently, this was in an effort to make light of the scenario and silence the naysayers.

 

Where & When:

UFC 298 is set for this Saturday, February 17th, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

The prelims will get started at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT on UFC Fight Pass and ESPN+.

Following, at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT the five fight main card will go live on Pay-Per-View.

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UFC 298 Full Card & Odds

  • Alexander Volkanovski (c) -130 vs. Ilia Topuria +110, featherweight title
  • Robert Whittaker -225 vs. Paulo Costa +185, middleweights
  • Ian Machado Garry -225 vs. Geoff Neal +185, welterweights
  • Merab Dvalishvili -210 vs. Henry Cejudo +175, bantamweights
  • Anthony Hernandez -205 vs. Roman Kopylov +170, middleweights
  • Amanda Lemos -140 vs. Mackenzie Dern +120, women’s strawweights
  • Marcos Rogerio de Lima -140 vs. Justin Tafa +120, heavyweights
  • Rinya Nakamura vs. Carlos Vera, bantamweights
  • A.J. Dobson -190 vs. Tresean Gore +160, middleweights
  • Zhang Mingyang -120 vs. Brendson Ribiero +100, light heavyweights
  • Danny Barlow -200 vs. Josh Quinlan +170, welterweights
  • Oban Elliott -300 vs. Val Woodburn +240, welterweights
  • Miranda Maverick -180 vs. Andrea Lee +150, women’s flyweights

(h/t CBSSports.com)

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