Ilia Topuria denies Joe Rogan’s claim he turned down Alexander Volkanovski rematch for UFC 305

Ilia Topuria rejects the notion that he turned down a rematch with Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 305 in Australia.

With the octagon headed back to Perth for a pay-per-view event on Aug. 18 and Topuria (15-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) not having a fight scheduled for his first featherweight title defense, longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan recently stated that a rematch with Volkanovski (26-4 MMA, 13-3 UFC) was presented to the champion.

“I don’t know who he wants to fight next,” Rogan said during a conversation with Max Holloway on a recent episode of the “JRE MME Show” podcast. “But I guess he feels like he’s the champ, he can call the shots. I know that he turned down the Perth one – 305, the Volkanovski rematch.”

Topuria defeated Volkanovski by second-round knockout at UFC 298 in February to become 145-pound champion. Given Volkanovski’s resume during his stint on top, many, including himself, believed an immediate rematch was in order. But with Volkanovski taking a second consecutive knockout loss in the fight after being defeated by Islam Makhachev in October, there was a belief Volkanovski should take a long layoff, which opened the door for another contender.

Holloway charged through that door at UFC 300 when he knocked out Justin Gaethje in spectacular fashion to claim the BMF title, and all signs point to a showdown with Topuria, which Volkanovski said he thinks “Blessed” will win with ease.

Topuria clearly caught wind of these narratives, evident by the fact that he issued a response Wednesday on social media, sternly denying Rogan’s claim and poking fun at Volkanovski for his prediction of a Holloway fight (via X and Instagram):

Now it remains to be seen what comes next for Topuria. He’s insisted Holloway must put the BMF title on the line too when they meet for the featherweight strap and has once again emphasized it’s a non-negotiable term, otherwise he will push to defend against Brian Ortega instead.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie