Alexander Volkanovski urged to make move for family after crushing loss at UFC 298

The Aussie lost his featherweight word title after holding it since 2019.

Alexander Volkanovski, pictured here with his wife and daughters.
Alexander Volkanovski has been urged to take time off to spend with his wife and daughters. Image: Getty/Instagram

Rob Whittaker has implored Alexander Volkanovski to take some time away from the UFC and spend it with his young family. Aussie star Volkanovski lost his featherweight word title to Ilia Topuria at UFC 298 on Sunday after a stunning knockout in the second round.

Topuria landed a perfect right hand that dropped Volkanovski, with the referee forced to call off the previously close contest three minutes and 32 seconds into round two. Volkanovski had won the first round on all three judges' cards, but Topuria settled the matter with his thunderous shot.

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The 35-year-old from Wollongong has now lost three of his past four fights, with many suggesting he came back too early after his defeat at the hands of Islam Makhachev. Fellow Aussie Whittaker, who scored a gritty unanimous points win over Brazilian Paulo Costa in the co-main event, urged Volkanovski to go away and spend some time with his daughters.

“He knows what he’s doing,” Whittaker said. “Rest up, spend some time with your family, your daughters mate. You’re an absolute living legend, you deserve to run that back for sure - you’re one of the most dominant featherweight champions to have ever done it. And everyone’s due an off night.”

Will Alexander Volkanovski get a rematch with Ilia Topuria?

Volkanovski has called for an immediate rematch, but Joe Rogan isn't sure it would be a good idea. “We’re talking about a guy that’s had two knockout losses in a row like that,” Rogan said.

“If I was in his corner, if I was on his team, I would say, ‘Take time off.’ If you’re going to fight again at 35 years of age, one of the all-time greats, recover completely. We don’t know if he recovered completely from the Makhachev fight.”

Ilia Topuria, pictured here after beating Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 298.
Ilia Topuria celebrates after his knockout victory against Alexander Volkanovski. (Chris Unger via Getty Images)

UFC great Michael Bisping agreed, saying: “That is a real factor to consider. Volkanovski, does he, on paper, deserve another immediate rematch? Yes, of course, he’s one of the best we’ve ever seen.

“But does he really want to step back in there off not one, but two stoppages in a row? The mental aspect of it is huge. Not only the physical aspect, getting stopped twice with the concussions in a row, that’s dangerous.

“But, more importantly, psychologically, what that does to a fighter. Take some time off. But the problem is, time is not on his side at 35 years old.”

Alexander Volkanovski.
Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 298. (Sean M. Haffey via Getty Images)

Alexander Volkanovski issues message to UFC

After losing his championship for the first time since 2019, Volkanovski said his record and eagerness to help the UFC made him a good 'company man' who deserves a rematch. "I think I deserve it, I've been reigning champ for almost five years, defended multiple times," Volkanovski said.

"Fought (former champion) Max (Holloway) three times when, let's be real, I didn't have to." Short notice fights, being active, I'm doing the favours and I just want that rematch."

Tiporia said he would be prepared to give Volkanovski a rematch. UFC boss Dana White said Topuria would have his first defence in Spain, but didn't guarantee Volkanovski would get first crack at the new champion.

"Who (Topuria) is going to be facing I don't know yet, but I have a lot of respect for Volkanovski. We'll see how that plays out," White said. "Volk is one of the greatest of all time and he's definitely the greatest in that weight class ever."

with AAP

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