Stop the fight, Alexander Volkanovski’s already won!
The Aussie featherweight champion has delivered a perfect response to a barrage of words from his UFC 298 opponent Ilia Topuria in a hilarious video for Sportsbet.
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The 35-year-old Volkanovski, who has held the UFC’s featherweight title since December 2019’s UFC 245 when he defeated Max Holloway, has successfully defended the title five times under his reign.
But two-losses to Islam Makhachev as the Aussie chased the lightweight title has brought the Aussie back to earth with some questioning how much longer his reign will last.
History is against the Aussie, with fighters over 35 in the flyweight and welterweight divisions winning just two of 33 fights.
Topuria threatens to be a challenge for Volkanovski, having gone 14-0 in his MMA career so far.
And the 27-year-old Spaniard has eyes for Volkanovski’s belt, having already updated his Instagram bio to read “UFC World Champion” and “Undefeated 15-0” before their February 18 clash at UFC 298.
It comes as Topuria called Volkanovski “old” back in January.
In a video that’s been seen over 250,000 times on X at time of writing, Volkanovski had his reply via a Sportsbet video.
“Volkanovski too old — they’ll make a headline out of anything these days,” the UFC champ said, dressed in his cardigan with Peaky Blinders cap and ready glasses on to kick off the video.
“All this talk about the over 35 curse, it’s nonsense. So I’ve let the Sportsbet crew in to prove I’m just as youthful as these whippersnappers.
Later in the video, he added: “I still don’t get these hot takes on my age though. I will still fight anyone anywhere anytime. Maybe not in tomato season or after 11pm …”
Hitting on tropes such as scam calls, offering licorice, taking his neighbour to court over a fence encroaching on his property, falling asleep in front of the TV and making his own tomato sauce, it’s fair to say Volkanovski has won this round.
Sportsbet’s Sean Ormerod said of the video: “Whether it’s tending to his much loved vegetable garden, keeping the neighbours in check or just making sure his driveway looks its cleanest, Volk remains keen to stick it to that young scallywag Topuria.
“You can tell Volk is still hungry for success, and if anyone else is hungry, he has plenty of homemade pasta sauce to go around.”
Sportskeeda MMA writer Jake Foley posted: “That’s it, the tides have turned. Alexander Volkanovski by knockout.”
Fans were absolutely loving the reply from the UFC champ, saying the video was “funny as f**k”, that it was “absolutely glorious” while plenty more just congratulated him for a job well done.
Another fan said: “Volkanovski man how can you not love this guy”.
Another added: “Holy s**t this is one of the best things I have ever seen.”
The “old” swipe from Topuria came after it was revealed Volkanovski had been sparring New Zealand lightweight Brad Riddell, who the Aussie claimed could “simulate Ilia”.
“To be quite honest, I think he can give me a lot more problems than what Ilia will – and that’s not knocking Ilia, that’s just showing how good Brad is,” Volkanovski said at the time.
Obviously, it’s not how Topuria took it.
“If you think someone can imitate me, that means that your last fight has left you with lasting effects,” Topuria wrote on X. “I will knock you out in the first round. You’re old, it’s time to retire. It is time to move on and make way for the new era of Topuria.”
As for the premature Instagram update, Volkanovski told FREESTYLE BENDER: “He’s undefeated, he’s talking, you know what I mean, and people are just laughing it up.
“For me, I get to play the experienced champion, and I’m just going to humble the dude. So for me, I’m like, time will tell. The next press conference, in a couple of days, your words are going to be much different.
“Someone is going to have to go onto their bio on Instagram and change it, literally themselves. What a humbling experience that will be, and I’m going to make sure – I don’t want the manager or the trainers or his wife doing it. I want him personally to change that to 14-1 and ‘contender’ or whatever it is.”