Volkanovski vs Topuria Prediction: The Champ To Make History



Volkanovski vs Topuria Prediction: The Champ To Make History

It’s a huge night of UFC on Saturday night with the featherweight title up for grabs, as Alexander Volkanovski looks to defend his belt against the very confident Ilia Topuria. Can the champion break the curse of being 35 years old?

Topuria is looking to become just the sixth man to carry the belt at the weight and he has to get through the man who may be the best of all time at featherweight in order to do so. 

You’ll want to know who to put your money on for UFC 298 and we’ll point you in the right direction in our Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria prediction.

We’ll explain exactly what the curse is that could stop the champion, where the fight could be won and lost and everything else you need to know in our Volkanovski vs Topuria prediction for this weekend. 

Our Volkanovski vs Topuria Prediction: The Great To Prove Why It’s His Nickname

In the history of UFC, no man in any weight between 125 lbs and 155 lbs has managed to defend or win a title once they’ve reached the grand old age of 35. Volkanovski reached that milestone last September and his only fight since has been at lightweight. 

On Saturday night the Australian will have to break that hoodoo if he’s to walk out of the Honda Center still with his title belt. 

Topuria will be hoping to take his undefeated run another fight longer in order to take it out of Volanovski’s hands. 

He is certainly expecting to become the champion at the weekend. He may one day hold the title but it’s unlikely to come at the Honda Centre, in California on Saturday. Not when the man in his way is on his way to a Hall of Fame career. 

The champ is the slight favorite and our Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria prediction goes the way of ‘the Great.’

Volkanovski’s Defense Is Key

Topuria has won eight times by submission and it’s likely that he’d be looking to make Volanovski tap out on Saturday night.

However, in order to do that he has to take his opponent to the canvas and that isn’t something that happens all too often. The champion has a 70{7977e81067aa52767c5a045b6a52bbfc36ac9a3ee7fc87b6a1495c50622a5d53} takedown defense and even Islam Makhachev struggled to get him down.

That defense is exactly why we think the champion will walk out of the arena still with the title in tow. It could be that Topuria finds himself extremely frustrated by the first man who can keep him at bay and keep the challenger on his feet throughout the full 25 minutes. 

The Great’s Staying Power

Volkanovski has gone the full five rounds on five previous occasions, with three of those coming against Max Holloway and another against Islam Makhachev. He went another three rounds against Jose Aldo.

He’s been in with all the greats he could have done and taken them all the way, winning all but one of those too. His ability to take the fight long and make it scrappy will make life tough for Topuira. 

The challenger on the other hand has only once gone five rounds and that was against Josh Emmett, a very good fighter but not at the quality of Volkanovski. There’s only one other decision victory in Topuria’s record too, so long fights certainly aren’t where he’s used to be.

If he finds a way to change that he could cause an upset, but it’s far likelier that he looks good in the early rounds before the champion takes over.

Makhachev Is The Shadow That Looms Over The Fight

It’s not very often that the lightweight champion has such a big impact on the featherweight title fight, especially when he’s not involved. However, Makhachev’s knockout out of the champ last year could have a baring. 

The loss in their first fight by decision wasn’t a problem for the Australian, who responded by beating Yair Rodriguez. However, the second fight with Makhachev ended in a far more brutal fashion.

How Volkanovski recovers from that serious setback will make all the difference as to who walks out of the Honda Center with the belt.

That’s the great unknown of this bout as no one can truly know what kind of effect that KO loss will have to the champion. Will it be enough to turn the tide for the challenger? We don’t think so, and as such we’re sticking to our original Volkanovski vs Topuria prediction for UFC 298 this weekend.

Best Betting Odds and Strategy for Volkanovski vs Topuria

Based on our assessments of the fighters we’ve got our Volkanovski vs Topuira predictions for you. These are all the bets we think make sense for this Saturday’s UFC 298 main event. 

  • Volkanovski to win: The betting odds are extremely close on the Moneyline for this fight, with little to separate the champion and challenger. However, we’re backing the slight favorite and think his experience at the top level will make the difference in this one. 
  • Volkanovski by decision: There actually isn’t much difference in the two most likely ways Volkanovski will pick up the W. Topuira has never been beaten so neither a KO or a decision loss hold much weight either way. However, Volk’s past record of going the distance proves he’s got what it takes to make things scrappy and force Topuira into a position he’s only been once before. If Topuria is going to win it’s likely to be via a finish, whether that’s early on in the fight or he finds a Leon Edwards-esque finish late on. Although we’re sticking with the Volk decision. 
  • Volanovski by unanimous decision: Not only do we expect ‘the Great’ to get the job done, but we don’t think that Topuira will be able to get to the champion enough to cause any of the judges to give him the victory. He may get a round or two in the first half of the fight but it’ll still be unanimous. It’s no disgrace, some legends of the fight game have struggled to live with the 35-year-old.

Latest Volkanovski vs Topuria Odds

  • Volkanovski to win @ -125
  • Volkanovski to win by decision @ +240
  • Volkanovski to win by unanimous decision @ +300

Full Volkanovski vs Topuria Preview

You’ve heard our Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria predictions for this weekend, now let’s dig further into the details. Read on for a full breakdown of each fighter’s stats, and how they match up at this stage of their careers.

Alexander Volkanovski – Maybe the Greatest Featherweight of All Time

Like the man he was nicknamed after, there are few more worlds for Volkanovski to conquer and he may well weep if he defeats Topuria. 

The champion defeated Jose Aldo to earn his title shot against Max Holloway, he beat up the champion to win the UFC featherweight title. After that he beat Holloway twice more and he’s undefeated at 145 lbs in the organziation. He’s won 11 fights at the weight in a row and not many have looked like they could defeat him. 

There are two defeats to Islam Makhachev to speak of, both coming in two of his most recent three fights, but those were at lightweight. That could still make a difference due to the knockout, but in terms of his featherweight form it means nothing. 

He has 13 MMA victories by knockout and another 10 by decision, with only three coming by submission. He has two defeats by knockout and one by decision.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle is history, no man in any weight between 125 lbs and 155 lbs in UFC history has won or defended a title. If anyone is going to break that curse it’s likely to be Volkanovski.

Ilia Topuria – The Undefeated and Confident Challenger

There aren’t many fighters left in the featherweight division who would even be close to the champion when it comes to the fight odds. Topuria though is a bit special, and that’s why others would have him winning in their Volkanovski vs Topuria prediction.

The German-born Spaniard has won all 14 of his MMA fights so far. The most recent six of those have come since he made his UFC debut in 2020.

Only two of those fights have gone to the judges’ scorecards and they’re both since he signed for Dana White’s promotion. That came in three rounds against Youssef Zalal in his UFC debut and in five rounds in his most recent fight vs Josh Emmett. 

Very few challengers have been as confident going into their first title fight as Topuria. The 27 year old has changed his social media bio to read 15-0, despite having had only 14 fights, and already added ‘UFC world champion’ to the bio. He’s also got a documentary called ‘Road to the title’ coming out in the near future. 

‘El Matador’ will have to back up all of that and attempt to do what no one at the weight has managed to do before, get to Volkanovski and hurt him.

Ryan Sidle is a sports journalist with nearly a decade in the industry. He's been interested in boxing since Mike Tyson vs Frank Bruno and his MMA fandom was sparked by Michael Bisping and Anderson Silva.