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Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria Preview & Picks – Volkanovski To Retain At UFC 298

leigh-copson
13 Feb 2024
leigh-copson
Leigh Copson 13 Feb 2024
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  • Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria picks for Saturday, February 17
  • UFC 298 is taking place at Honda Center in Anaheim, California
  • Preview, predictions, stats & form
Alexander Volkanovski (Getty Images)
    Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria Preview & Picks
  • Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria Preview & Picks
  • Alexander Volkanovski Form
  • Ilia Topuria Form

Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria Preview & Picks

Alexander Volkanovski is tipped to retain the featherweight title by decision.

Ilia Topuria is a wrecking ball, but Volkanovski is a huge step up from his previous opposition.

The champion has faced and beaten the best, so we are expecting a successful defence here.

  • Alexander Volkanovski is on an 11-fight win streak at featherweight
  • 5 of Alexander Volkanovski’s last 7 wins have come via decision
  • Alexander Volkanovski has a 57% striking accuracy (Topuria 46%)
  • Volkanovski lands 6.19 significant strikes per minute (Topuria 4.44)

Alexander Volkanovski Form

Alexander Volkanovski is the defending UFC featherweight champion with a record of 26-3 (13 KOs, 3 Subs).

Volkanovski made the move to 145lbs after a successful UFC debut in November 2016, and he quickly climbed the ladder.

His first notable win came in December 2018 when he knocked out Chad Mendes in the second round, and in his next outing he bested the legendary Jose Aldo in a three-round fight.

That earned him a shot at the featherweight title, and the 35-year-old Australian took his big chance as he dethroned Max Holloway via unanimous decision.

Volkanovski took the rematch too, by split decision, before dominating Brian Ortega in a points win and knocking out ‘The Korean Zombie’ in the fourth round.

That set up a trilogy showdown with Holloway, and he again got the better of ‘Blessed’ on the scorecards, this time winning by unanimous decision.

Following that victory he moved up to lightweight to challenge champion Islam Makhachev, and although he came up short, he did help produce the 2023 Fight of the Year as he lost on points.

Volkanovski returned to featherweight after that loss and successfully defended against Yair Rodriguez via third round TKO.

He was rewarded with another crack at Makhachev, but this time he was knocked out in the opening round.

Ilia Topuria Form

Ilia Topuria is the #3 ranked featherweight contender with a perfect professional record of 14-0 (4 KOs, 8 Subs).

Topuria debuted in the UFC in October 2020 with a perfect 8-0 record, and his first outing in the Octagon was a successful one as he beat Youssef Zalal by decision.

He began to make an impression in his next two fights as he knocked out Damon Jackson and then Ryan Hall in the first round.

Jai Herbert made it out of the opening round in the March 2022 but, but Topuria still got the job done via strikes as he knocked out the British fighter in the second.

The 27-year-old then showed off his submission chops for the first time in his UFC career as he tapped out Bryce Mitchell in the second round.

He was unable to register another stoppage win in his last outing, but he still had his hand raised as he beat Josh Emmett via unanimous decision.

Verdict

Ilia Topuria has made a big impression and is clearly a dangerous striker with lots of power.

However, he has never faced anyone on Alexander Volkanovski’s level and the champion has beaten a bunch of elite strikers in his career, so we lean towards a successful defence for ‘The Great’.

Best Bet1: Alexander Volkanovski Winner @-111.11 at Stake.us - 4 Units
Best Bet2: Volkanovski by Dec. Method Of Victory @260.00 at Stake.us - 2 Units
Alexander Volkanovski
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Volkanovski by Dec.
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