Following his first round knockout loss versus Islam Makhachev last month, Alexander Volkanovski officially has a date set to defend his 145-pound title against Ilia Topuria.
On Wednesday, the organization announced that the long-time featherweight titleholder will face Topuria at UFC 298 on February 17th.
Breaking: Alexander Volkanovski will face Ilia Topuria at UFC 298 in February, Dana White announced. pic.twitter.com/PLeCtnDOXY
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 6, 2023
This bout was originally thought to take place at UFC 297 in January, but due to Volkanovski taking a late notice fight versus Makhachev last month, the bout needed to be pushed back. Volkanovski first met Makhachev earlier this year, at UFC 294, where he fought to a close decision with the current lightweight king. Their rematch last month ended much differently, with the Australian getting caught by a head kick from Makhachev, resulting in a first round knockout.
Regardless of the way Volkanovski’s last contest ended, he is still undefeated at 145-pounds, and will look to prove why he is considered to be the best featherweight in the world today.
Topuria may still be early into his career with the UFC, sporting a 6-0 record within the organization, but the level of skill he has shown in those six outings makes it clear that he could very well be Volkanovski’s toughest challenge in the division. Topuria has recent wins over Bryce Mitchell and Josh Emmett, and has displayed a serious level of well roundness in each of his showings with the UFC.
With 2024 right around the corner, fans of the UFC have a lot to look forward to in the new year, and the scheduling of this featherweight title bout has only added to the excitement.