Alexander Volkanovski revealed what he said to Ilia Topuria in cage-side face-off at UFC 290

Alexander Volkanovski was able to defend his featherweight title for the fifth consecutive time as he knocked out Yair Rodriguez in the third round of UFC 290. Following the bout, ‘The Great’ had a cage-side face-off with No. 5-ranked featherweight Ilia Topuria, who appears next in line to challenge him for the title.

Check out footage of the face-off below:

Speaking at the post-fight press conference, the No. 2-ranked pound-for-pound fighter stated:

“I just told him, I go, ‘yeah, come on, jump over, let’s do a little face-off. Let’s amp it up a little bit. See you soon’. I said to him, I go, ‘man, I thought you were a bit taller’ because everyone’s so much taller than me. I’m looking him eye-to-eye. I was about to say, ‘I’ve got this 71 inch reach’, which is a lie, but I should run with that. Again, no disrespect to the bloke. He is a good fighter, he’s undefeated. Can’t wait to take that zero.”

Alexander Volkanovski shared that what has gotten Topuria to this point will not work against him. The No. 5-ranked featherweight is 14-0 in his mixed martial arts career. While the featherweight champion is 26-2, he has never lost at 145 pounds as one of his losses came at lightweight and the other at welterweight.

Check out Alexander Volkanovski’s comments on Ilia Topuria below (starting at the 14:30 mark):

Ilia Topuria predicts that he will finish Alexander Volkanovski in the first round

Ilia Topuria cemented his status as one of the best featherweights in the world when he dominated Josh Emmett for five rounds in the main event of UFC on ABC 5. Prior to the bout, however, ‘El Matador’ revealed that he has lofty expectations for a potential title bout with Alexander Volkanovski, stating:

“Same as always. I’m going to finish him in the first round… Of course it’s going to be a little bit bigger to beat someone who is pound-for-pound No.1 and who defended the title so many times. It’s going to be bigger than if Yair beats him, and I beat Yair because Yair lost a lot of fights with a lot of ranked guys – with Max Holloway, with Frankie Edgar. He lost a lot of fights. I prefer the fight against Alex and to take the win against him.”

Volkanovski was able to retain the featherweight title, likely placing the two fighters on a collision course. While ‘The Great’ could opt to once again challenge Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title at UFC 294, he will likely face Topuria in his next featherweight title defense.

Check out Ilia Topuria’s comments on Alexander Volkanovski below (starting at the 1:06 mark):

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