Ilia Topuria knocks out Alexander Volkanovski to claim UFC featherweight belt

Topuria floors Volkanovski to become the new UFC featherweight king (Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Ilia Topuria walked his talk and pulled off one of the most massive dethroning moments in the history of the UFC.

With 1:31 remaining in the second round of the UFC 298 main event, Topuria just shocked the world after knocking out Alexander Volkanovski to snatch the featherweight championship belt last February 18, 2024, held at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Topuria entered the championship duel with 14 straight victories and expressed how confident he is in dethroning Volkanovski as the UFC’s featherweight king.

However, Topuria had to go through the grinder as the more experienced Volkanovski clinched the first round with his efficient head kicks and octagon mastery.

Topuria started slow and was trying to read what Volkanovski would bring to the table but the Australian pug was wise to vary his engagements in the whole first round.

Volkanovski attempted a takedown in the last 30 seconds of the opening frame but Topuria was able to maintain his balance and stay away from the ground.

The second round became more interesting as Topuria started to throw more combinations and let Volkanovski feel his boxing power.

After that stiff jab connected, Volkanovski began to backpedal and played a defensive strategy to avoid Topuria’s knockout power.

Volkanovski reverted to his kicks and remained in his desired distance but when the 2:30 mark ticked, Topuria hounded him with pressure and was aggressive in throwing more punches.

In the final 1:31 of the second round, Volkanovski’s worst nightmare came after Topuria sent in a flurry of punches that floored him to the canvas.



Topuria kicked off the tremendous sequence using a right-left two-punch combination. After seeing an opening when Volkanovski attempted to cover with both hands, Topuria unleashed a devastating overhand right punch that sealed the deal for the UFC championship belt.

With the win, Topuria continued his tremendous professional MMA career after bagging his 15th straight victory without a single loss.

Meanwhile, Volkanovski dropped to 26 wins and four losses and is yet to re-enter the UFC winning column after also losing his second to the last match against Islam Makhachev.