Alexander Volkanovski will face Ilia Topuria in the main event of UFC 298, which goes down on Feb. 17, 2024, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
The long-reigning featherweight champion will be attempting to make the sixth successful defense of his 145-pound strap against the surging Topuria, who presents a very real and multi-faceted threat to Volkanovski's reign, which has, to this date, been a dominant one.
Ahead of the fight, Volkanovski caught up with mainevent and spoke on a variety of subjects. 'The Great' was asked if this fight week was any different, given the trash talk that has come out from his opponent's side.
Volkanovski replied to the question, saying:
"I guess you could say that. I just think I'm dialled in. Fight camp went really well. Everything peaked at the perfect time, I'm in really good nick. Really ready. Can't wait to put it on the line this weekend. Obviously the talk has been done, he has been doing a great job. Maybe that's what it is, maybe it's the fact that I need to be the experienced dad, you could say, I've got to teach this bloke a lesson, so maybe that's the role I'm playing. I don't know, but I'm definitely dialled in."
Check out Alexander Volkanovski's interview here (0:22 for his comments):
Alexander Volkanovski says he has "completely moved on" from loss to Makhachev ahead of UFC 298
A big question heading into the UFC 298 main event is whether Alexander Volkanovski has had enough time to recover, physically and mentally, from his UFC 294 loss to Islam Makhachev.
In his rematch with Makhachev, Volkanovski was finished in the first round, as Makhachev landed a head kick and followed up with punches to close the show.
In the same interview, Volkanovski spoke on how that loss could affect his mentality heading into his UFC 298 title fight with Topuria, saying (1:20):
"I've completely moved on. That's one good thing about me. As soon as I got a job in front of me, or a goal, that's it, I'm locked in. I knew I was going to be fighting Ilia, so I was able to move on. It was just about concussion protocols and whatnot, the right time, you know? We could have done it in January, but that would be rushing it a bit, so we pushed it back to February."