"He's gonna have a grappling advantage" - Former UFC fighter shares blueprint for Ilia Topuria to beat Alexander Volkanovski
UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski will look to defend his belt for a sixth straight time against up-and-coming challenger Ilia Topuria at UFC 298. The two will headline the event on February 17, 2024 at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Former UFC featherweight Urijah Faber spoke in an interview with The Schmo and weighed in on the upcoming fight. He outlined the importance of grappling for Topuria to dethrone 'Volk' and mentioned various other factors that will be significant in their title clash:
“He’s just got to get really good at defending the takedowns. I think Volkanovski’s real strength is obviously, durability, which as age goes, it goes away a little bit. But he’s gonna have a grappling advantage so he’s got to find a way not to get pushed up against the cage, not to get taken down and also has to be aware of the offense on the feet. So, you know, being elusive and having great footwork.”
Ilia Topuria has won all six of his outings in the UFC since his debut in 2020 and remains undefeated across his professional career. Alexander Volkanovski has lost two of his last three fights, while only losing once in his first 26 professional fights.
Check out Urijah Faber's comments below on YouTube [4:20]:
Ilia Topuria discusses his preparation for title clash against Alexander Volkanovski
Ilia Topuria spoke about his preparation in the lead-up to his headliner against Alexander Volkanovski.
In an interview with ESPN Deportes, Topuria stated that he was studying Alexander Volkanovski and was confident of his own chances:
“Everyday I wake up and watch film, even videos of old trainings that are available. I watched everything... He doesn’t stand a chance, he has zero opportunity. I don’t see any holes, but I can tell how he attacks. The only attack I see is that he is going to kick my legs, that’s the only thing he can do. He has good cardio but everyone has good cardio when they’re not under pressure."
Topuria also spoke about the importance of patience in seeking a finish:
"It's going to be a masterpiece to hit and don’t get hit. That’s what you will see in this combat, you’ll see an authentic mixed martial artist... I’ll be there with a lot of patience, looking for any opening. I’ll be there to take advantage. But the most important thing for me is to stay patient all the time, stay ready, don’t make unnecessary efforts. The finish will come without pushing it too much."
Check out his comments below: