Reigning UFC Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski’s upcoming title defense against Ilia Topuria at UFC 297 in January has been pushed back to February, and is now set to headline UFC 298.
The claim was made by Ariel Helwani on X.com, who stated that while the UFC had initially granted Volkanovski’s wish to have a title defense at the start of the new year, the fight against Topuria has been pushed back to make room for the Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira rematch.
“The current plan – though not finalized just yet – is to have Islam Makhachev x Charles Oliveira 2 – headline UFC 297. That event, while not officially announced yet, is currently slated to Jan. 20 in Toronto. The original plan for that main was Volkanovski x Topuria, but now the plan is for that to be on the February PPV. Raquel Pennington x Mayra Bueno Silva for the vacant 135 title also scheduled for that January card, as reported yesterday,” wrote Helwani.
The current plan – though not finalized just yet – is to have Islam Makhachev x Charles Oliveira 2 – headline UFC 297. That event, while not officially announced yet, is currently slated to Jan. 20 in Toronto.
The original plan for that main was Volkanovski x Topuria, but now…
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 4, 2023
Alexander Volkanovski’s wish will be granted, but with a slight delay
Volkanovski has gone 1-2 in his last three outings in the Octagon- two of them being against Makhachev for the 155-pound gold, with “The Great” having been unsuccessful in both attempts, in February and October this year. In between the fights, Volkanovski did unify the 145-pound title against interim champ Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 in July.
It was expected that the champ would take some time to lay off before returing to action, but on his YouTube channel, Volkanovski insisted that making a comeback sooner would be beneficial for him.
“Like I said, I am the best version of myself inside and outside of the cage, whenever I have clear direction,” Volkanovski had said.
Currently ranked 5th in the division, “El Matador” will be making his maiden attempt at the 145-pound title. The undefeated Georgian defeated Josh Emmett at UFC Jacksonville in June this year.
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