- Alex Volkanovski believes the UFC aren’t backing Ilia Topuria
- Volkanovski takes on the undefeated challenger at UFC 298
- He says he is desperate to humble his rival
Alexander Volkanovski believes the UFC are not confident in Ilia Topuria’s credentials to dethrone him of the featherweight championship in their title fight this weekend.
Volkanovski takes on his undefeated rival in a huge grudge match this weekend, with the European’s antics in the build up irritating the all-conquering 145-pound champion.
Topuria changed his social media accounts to carry the tag ‘UFC champion’ and ’15-0′ – which would include a victory over Volkanovski.
The Aussie insists he is unfazed by the mind games, and is relishing the opportunity to humble his rival.
‘It shows he’s happy having things given to him,’ Volkanovski said. ‘I’ve earned everything.
Alexander Volkanovski believes the UFC did not want Ilia Topuria to fight for his title
‘I’ve earned the championship in my bio. I’ve earned my title, earned my followers, you name it I’ve earned it all.
‘I don’t see him doing the same.’
Topuria is being followed by a camera crew for an upcoming documentary about his title run, but Volkanovski believes an extra chapter will be written after Saturday’s fight.
‘So this documentary … they’re going to need an extra one because the road to the title isn’t going to be accomplished,’ he said. ‘He ain’t getting it this time.
‘I go out there, teach him a lesson, he wakes up to himself and realises he ain’t a superstar,
‘He starts getting in gym, do what counts, earns his stripes.
‘(Laughs) I’m always looking out for everyone, even my opponents.
‘I’m going to do this so maybe one day he can be champion.
‘Because he ain’t going to be a great champion with that mentality and the way he carries himself.
The undefeated European is hoping to dethrone the all-conquering champion on Saturday
But Aussie star Volkanovski has vowed to humble his younger challenger
‘I don’t like it. He thinks he’s an absolute superstar already. Mate, you’ve bought your followers.’
Asked whether he has felt disrespected by Topuria, Volkanovski said: ‘He’s probably playing the game.
‘But if he is a good kid who is just playing the game, he’s not going about it the right way … I think it’s gotten to his head.
‘I don’t even know how much he’s in the gym.
‘It just looks like he does his own little sessions here and there and has a bunch of ‘yes’ men around him.
‘And he hasn’t even got the title yet.
‘So he’s in for a rude awakening and he can thank me for it later.’