Alexander Volkanovski’s prediction for Ilia Topuria fight: ‘I crumble him in the first’

Alexander Volkanovski thinks he sends Ilia Topuria a message early.

Featherweight champion Volkanovski (26-3 MMA, 13-2 UFC) will look to notch his sixth title defense when he takes on Topuria (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) in the UFC 298 headliner Feb. 17 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Topuria is oozing confidence ahead of his first title fight, going as far as saying Volkanovski will be one of the easier fights of his career. Volkanovski is ready to give the undefeated contender a rude awakening.

“Prediction is, I teach him a good lesson,” Volkanovski said on his YouTube channel. “He’s going to be embarrassed, he’s going to eat some of his words, and it’s going to be maybe be the start of his journey. He’s young. He is confident. I’ll humble him. He’ll bounce back and start after I give him a good ass beating. Round 2, I think. I think I crumble him in the first.

“I’m not saying it’s going to be an easy fight, but I think just how confident he is, he hasn’t been able to prove that. I prove that every time I step in this gym – I’m pushing myself to the limit. I don’t know if he does. He doesn’t act like it. So I’m going to push him, and I think I crumble him inside one, and I get the finish soon after that.”

Topuria also is predicting an early finish, vowing to knock out Volkanovski in Round 1. The 27-year-old is coming off back-to-back beatdowns of Bryce Mitchell and Josh Emmett.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 298.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie