Alexander Volkanovski Next Fight: Ilia Topuria At UFC 298
(Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
— Updated on 19 February 2024

Alexander Volkanovski Next Fight: Ilia Topuria At UFC 298

— Updated on 19 February 2024
Garry Lu
WORDS BY
Garry Lu

Few would dare accept a title fight in a heavier weight division (and against Islam Makhachev, no less) on 11 days’ notice. Even fewer would line up a title defence bout immediately after falling short from capturing that second belt — especially after being KO’d via head kick in the first round. But then again, not everyone is Australia’s Alexander Volkanovski, which is why he’s already locked in his next fight.

Yes, “The Great” is now officially 0-2 against lightweight champion Islam Makhachev post-UFC 284 (Perth) and UFC 294 (Abu Dhabi). But there’s still plenty of work to keep him busy inside the Octagon. Like defend his featherweight belt against the likes of heavy-handed Georgian/Spanish banger Ilia Topuria.

Here’s what we know about the headline event of UFC 298 so far.

Alexander Volkanovski Next Fight: Everything We Know So Far

Alexander Volkanovski Next Fight: Ilia Topuria Or Makhachev II?
(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Alexander Volkanovski Overview

Name: Alexander Volkanovski (“The Great”)
Age: 35
Date of Birth: September 29, 1988
Height: 5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
Last Official Weight: 155 lb (70 kg)
Reach: 71 in (180 cm)
Style: Muay Thai, Boxing, & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Black Belt)
Coach & Team(s): Freestyle Fighting Gym, City Kickboxing, Bangtao Muay Thai & MMA, Tiger Muay Thai
Nationality: Australian (from Wollongong, NSW)
Net Worth: $5 million AUD (Estimated)
Social Media Accounts: Instagram — @alexvolkanovski (1.4 million followers) | Twitter — @alexvolkanovski (399,000 followers)

RELATED: Joe Rogan Left Speechless By “Controversial” UFC 284 Decision Against Volk

Alexander Volkanovski Career Stats

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 02: Alexander Volkanovski (L) of Australia punches Max Holloway in their featherweight title bout during UFC 276 at T-Mobile Arena on July 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

MMA Record: 26 Wins (13 Knockouts, 3 Submission, 10 Decisions) — 3 Losses (2 Knockout, 1 Decision)
UFC Record: 13 Wins (5 Knockouts, 8 Decisions) — 2 Losses (1 Decision, 1 Knockout)
Accolades & Accomplishments:

  • Former #1 UFC Pound-For-Pound Fighter
  • Current UFC Featherweight Champion
  • Five successful title defences
  • Fight of the Night (Three times) vs Chad Mendes, Brian Ortega, Islam Makhachev
  • Performance of the Night (One time) vs Chan Sung Jung AKA The Korean Zombie
  • Tied with Arnold Allen for the second-longest win streak in UFC Featherweight division history
  • Tied with Max Holloway for the second most title fight wins in UFC Featherweight division history
  • Highest striking differential in UFC Featherweight division history
  • Longest average fight time in UFC Featherweight division history (18:00)
  • Australian Fighting Championship Featherweight Champion (One time & former)
  • One successful AFC title defence
  • Cage Conquest Welterweight Champion
  • Pacific Xtreme Combat Featherweight Champion
  • Roshambo MMA Lightweight Champion
  • Roshambo MMA Welterweight Champion
  • Wollongong Wars Lightweight Champion

Alexander Volkanovski vs Ilia Topuria At UFC 298 (Location TBD)

Day prior to the bombshell announcement he was receiving another shot at Islam Makhachev far sooner than expected, it had been rumoured that Alexander Volkanovski’s next fight would be a title defence against #5 featherweight Ilia Topuria at next January’s UFC 297 (Canada).

Today, UFC President & CEO Dana White has confirmed Volk will be fighting “El Matador” to open 2024. Only a single pay-per-view event after what was initially projected at UFC 298 (location TBD).

“I do want that Islam fight but I don’t want to wait for it. If they’re like, ‘Yeah you can do it but you’re gonna have to wait till this time.’ I’m like, ‘Well give me something else.’ Which I’m sure [the UFC] appreciate and love,” Alexander Volkanovski told BH earlier this year.

“For Dana White to say [he’ll back whatever I want to do], he doesn’t really say that to many people, so that is a comment that I really appreciate. It shows that my hard work is being appreciated. So it’s a good position to be in but for me, I just want to be active.”

White also revealed that UFC 298: Alexander Volkanovski will be sandwiched by two other blockbuster title defences. Newly-crowned middleweight king Sean Strickland against South Africa’s Dricus du Plessis at UFC 297 and bantamweight champ Sean O’Malley against Marlon Vera for March’s UFC 299.

How bloody good.

The Secret Injury

As if what he achieved at UFC 290 (International Fight Week) against interim featherweight champ Yair Rodriguez wasn’t impressive enough, during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Alexander Volkanovski revealed he’d been working with quite a dire-sounding elbow injury throughout his latest (full) camp. One that required “immediate surgery.”

According to Fox Sports Australia, Volk had a chipped bone in his left elbow which prevented him from fully extending the entire arm and apparently caused “nerve complications.”

Still, the man hadn’t ruled out returning to the Octagon as soon as possible. And return ASAP he did.

“I didn’t mean to scare everyone with that. When I say I’m going to do that, it’s not a big deal,” Volk said with a grin during the post-fight press conference.

“I’ll be back ASAP. It will be a quick one, just need to get something sorted. But I’ll be training a lot… I broke my hand at International Fight Week last year and you saw me in Abu Dhabi [on standby] ready to fight Islam Makhachev or Charles Oliveira.”

By all accounts, disappointing result at UFC 294: Alexander Volkanovski vs Islam Makhachev II in Abu Dhabi aside, it appears that the elbow is holding up. All the Aussie battler needs is a full camp.

RELATED: We Had Lunch (And A Yarn) With The UFC’s Alexander Volkanovski

Pure Fan Service (Potential Bouts After UFC 298)

Conor McGregor And/Or Michael Chandler

Alexander Volkanovski vs Conor McGregor?
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 12: UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor of Ireland celebrates after defeating Eddie Alvarez in their UFC lightweight championship fight during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

For any pro weighing between 145 pounds and 170 pounds, former two-division champion Conor McGregor is the fight to make.

Beyond the entertainment value, eyeballs, and monster payday, “Notorious” represents quite the notch in anybody’s UFC career.

The same can be said about Chandler to some extent. Less so on the eyeballs and monetary side of things, sure, but a worthy opponent nonetheless (and a former Bellator champion).

After a well-documented history of vague threats (mostly instigated by McGregor), back in May, Alexander Volkanovski formally issued a challenge via Twitter.

The online exchange kicked off after the latter replied to an ESPN post which basically indicated if he and McGregor ever fought at featherweight, the winner would’ve effectively beaten every single undisputed champion in the division.

“Let’s do it at lightweight,” the reigning featherweight king tweeted with a dynamite emoji.

Before long, McGregor responded in a series of since-deleted tweets:

“Lol. Afraid? The UFC P4P #1 (ye right) needs weighing scales and specific divisions to compete against me. So who’s really who and what’s what? The BMF title, the baddest jackasses in the sauna title. Little bums. Little one division, never champion bums! Nothin’ bad about yas!”

“Anything. Anywhere. Any weight!” Volkanovski fired back.

“Then why ask for 155 [pounds]. Also, that is my saying,” said McGregor.

“Yeah you say it, but I did it. I’ve fought at middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, and featherweight,” replied Volkanovski.

While the back-and-forth concluded there, Volk retweeted a video uploaded by UFC ANZ in which Conor McGregor ponders the possibility of challenging him for the featherweight belt (see: above).

But this is all assuming McGregor even shows up for his own scheduled return bout against Chandler after their season of The Ultimate Fighter concludes.

Charles Oliveira

Last year, during a UFC 280 media day interview, the former lightweight champion was prompted about Alexander Volkanovski, who was locked in as the official backup fighter for Oliveira’s title fight against Islam Makhachev.

“First of all we’re gonna focus on what’s going to happen [at UFC 280],” Charles Oliveira told reporters through a translator.

“If we’re going to make this happen, Charles against Alexander Volkanovski, we’re gonna have it two ways: we’re gonna fight at 155 pounds [lightweight] and then we’re gonna fight 145 [featherweight] pounds.”

“So we’re going to fight in two weight divisions. I can fight [in Australia], but for his belt.”

Long before Volk vs Islam Makhachev’s crossover clash was really in the conversation, the homegrown talent told BH the following:

Alexander Volkanovski vs Charles Oliveira?
HOUSTON, TEXAS – MAY 15: Charles Oliveira of Brazil holds the belt after defeating Michael Chandler during their Championship Lightweight Bout at the UFC 262 event at Toyota Center on May 15, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

“If Charles wins and I face Charles early next year — whoo! Laughing, you know? And then everyone will be going nuts about that as well. I’m really, really looking forward to that one,” said Alexander Volkanovski.

“I think what’s better is Charles winning. Because it’s a big fight, there’s a lot of hype around him… So it makes a lot more sense for me.”

It almost happened once. It could now become a reality depending on the result of Oliveira and Islam Makhachev’s forthcoming rematch.

Bonus: Do Bronx and The Great have the utmost respect for one another? This doesn’t really add anything tangible, but it’s just nice to see.

RELATED: UFC 300 Is Already Stacked (You’re Just Not Looking Hard Enough)

Brian Ortega Rematch

No further explanation is required for anyone who witnessed Alexander Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega the first time around.

Max Holloway Rematch

Granted, the trilogy was closed out pretty definitively at UFC 276. But god it’d be electric to see Alexander Volkanovski throw hands with former champion Max Holloway again.

When is Alexander Volkanovski’s next fight?

Alexander Volkanovski Next Fight: Ilia Topuria Or Makhachev II?
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 02: Alexander Volkanovski of Australia celebrates his unanimous decision win over Max Holloway in their featherweight title bout during UFC 276 at T-Mobile Arena on July 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Alexander Volkanovski is defending his featherweight title against Ilia Topuria at next year’s UFC 298 (February 17th, 2024).

This bout follows after Volkanovski stepped in as a last-minute replacement for UFC 294’s original lightweight title challenger and former division champion, Charles Oliveira, who suffered an eyebrow laceration that requires stitches during sparring.

Despite the fact Alexander Volkanovski failed to capture the lightweight title on yet another occasion against Islam Makhachev, he’s clearly raring to go.

RELATED: Win Or Lose, These UFC Fighters Make Us Proud To Be Australian


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Garry Lu
WORDS by
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]