Five-time defending featherweight champion Volkanovski (26-3 MMA, 13-2 UFC) takes on unbeaten Topuria (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) in the Feb. 17 headliner.
Volkanovski acknowledges the threat Topuria brings, but is ready to remind everyone why he is the king of the division.
“He’s a powerful dude. He’s good everywhere,” Volkanovski told Fox Sports Australia. “He’s not one-dimensional. He’s obviously very well-rounded. I just believe my skills and my understanding of the game is just going to be that little bit too much for him. He’s a young, hungry dude – undefeated, very, very confident – but I think he needs a little bit of humbling, so I’m glad to be the man to do that.”
Volkanovski was initially adamant that he could fight Topuria at UFC 297 on Jan. 20. But coming off a knockout loss this past October to lightweight champion Islam Makhachev, Volkanovski thought pushing the fight back was the wise thing to do.
“We just thought that would be a little bit too soon,” Volkanovski said. “We want to follow all protocols and do everything right, obviously, after the last one and I’m lucky enough to have a great team around me who have dealt with a lot of concussions through football.
“I’ve got the right team around me and we just thought that January was too soon. I was lucky enough to have the UFC and the guys there make that happen and move things around for me, which I’m grateful for, and I think the timing will be perfect.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 298.