Header Ban

Ilia Topuria vs Volkanovski: UFC all-star showdown in February in Las Vegas?

A report from MMA Hour's Ariel Helwani changes the situation for the Georgian-born Spanish fighter ahead of the 2023 opener.

Ilia Topuria (14-0-0), a Spanish hopeful and No. 5 on the UFC featherweight rankings, is the name on the new calendar for the premier mixed martial arts company's 2024 start.

He has every argument in his favour to fight for the championship belt against 145-pound monarch Alexander Volkanovski, and Dana White's league has made no secret of its plans to book them.

The date, place and event (numbered on PPV) is the unknown, more so with the Australian's predicament after his defeat to Islam Makhachev in Abu Dhabi by KO and the mandatory rest period he must have.

As is well known, Volkanovski wanted to fight on the theoretically scheduled date: UFC 297 in Toronto - January 20, 2024.

"Let me fight, otherwise I will suffer. I suffer mentally when I'm not in camp or in a fight," Volk said after his loss to Makhachev, revealing the fighters' mental issues. But the UFC seems to have other plans.

The new scenario

The UFC is considering making its first pay-per-view of 2024 a 'fireworks' event, but not with the featherweight belt on the table.

As reported by 'guru' Ariel Helwani, leader of MMA Hour', the company wants an Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira (their rematch) with the lightweight on the line.

The big star after Jon Jones' serious injury, highlighting that KO to Volkanovski in Abu Dhabi and looking to legitimise his reign at 155lbs. His critics say he still hasn't clearly defended his reign (he only fought 'Volk' who keeps moving up in weight)... and Oliveira was his opponent for the Etihad Arena until he broke his eyebrow the day before travelling to the Emirates.

It's possible, as Makhachev wants to fight. "Before Ramadan we would like to come back," he said on his return to Dagestan after beating Volkanovski.

A logical timetable to then add the break and consider a comeback in the Emirates, which he considers his home (religion and training centre of course). It is early, but he did not suffer wear and tear and it is an unbeatable way to start the year with the best in the octagon. Topuria, then, would move on to another level.

February and Las Vegas

Helwani's information states that Topuria would fight for featherweight at the second numbered event of 2023.

In the 'mecca' of the UFC, the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight would be delayed, but they would get to start their duel in the first few months without ruling out new chapters in the expected UFC 300 that will commemorate a date of special prominence for the company.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.