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Saturday, April 20, 2024

UFC 298: Ilia Topuria knocks out Alexander Volkanovski to grow to be new featherweight champion | WWE Information

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Ilia Topuria knocked out Alexander Volkanovski in the principle occasion of UFC 298 on the Honda Heart in California to grow to be the brand new featherweight champion.

Topuria boldly declared himself a UFC world champion in his social media bio for months earlier than he really turned the primary Georgian to win a title.

When Topuria lastly obtained the belt strapped round his waist at UFC 298 on Saturday night time, he cried on the feeling of goals coming true.

The Spaniard stopped Volkanovski within the second spherical to assert the featherweight title, ending the Australian champion’s four-year reign with a devastating sequence of strikes.

Topuria (15-0) managed the primary spherical of his first UFC title struggle with sharp punching earlier than he sensationally completed off Volkanovski with extra of the identical.

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He staggered the 35-year-old Volkanovski to the cage with a left-right mixture earlier than placing him on the canvas with an ideal proper hand adopted by an enormous left. Topuria completed the champion on the bottom with just below 90 seconds left, enhancing to 7-0 since becoming a member of the UFC in late 2020.

“I really feel so pleased proper now,” Topuria stated afterwards with a mixture flag of Georgia and Spain wrapped round his shoulders.

“They’ll inform you you’ll be able to’t do it. They’ll knock you down and doubt you. However guess what? The one particular person you could have your again on this life is your self. Simply belief your self, work tirelessly, have religion and every thing is feasible. Have a look at me now.”

Topuria completely seized a second a number of years within the making. He had stormed to the highest of the record of contenders for Volkanovski’s belt with six consecutive UFC victories in lower than three years, capped by a blowout resolution over Josh Emmett final summer season.

Volkanovski (26-4) had made 5 consecutive profitable title defences since successful his belt in late 2019, however his reign ended together with his first featherweight loss in UFC competitors.

The Australian additionally misplaced twice prior to now 12 months to light-weight champion Islam Makhachev in a failed bid to grow to be a two-division champ, and he did not present his typical relentless work charge in opposition to Topuria earlier than the struggle abruptly ended.

Topuria did not lack confidence in the course of the promotion of this struggle. He repeatedly spoke of Volkanovski’s reign prior to now tense, and he even swiped the title belt off the desk in entrance of Volkanovski at their information convention on Thursday.

Ilia Topuria was very emotional after he knocked out Alexander Volanovski

UFC president Dana White is hoping to make his promotion’s debut in Spain with Topuria’s subsequent struggle. White was delighted by Topuria’s self-confidence in declaring himself a champion even earlier than he gained the belt.

“He positively believes in himself. That is positively placing your self on the market. You possibly can name that plenty of issues. Manifesting. Cocky. He got here out and made it a actuality tonight,” stated White.

Volkanovski confirmed as much as their information convention dressed like an {old} man, lampooning the notion he was too {old} to compete with the 27-year-old Topuria. Volkanovski even had the assist of billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, who walked out with the champ and wore his cornermen’s gear in his front-row seat on the sold-out Honda Heart.

Once they had been lastly within the cage, Topuria backed up each phrase and motion – to the delight of each of his dwelling nations.

“As we speak is a historic second for the nation of Georgia,” stated Georgian bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili, who beat Henry Cejudo earlier at UFC 298. “All people awoke early. Each restaurant was booked. They had been watching in stadiums. They’re celebrating now all night time.”

Ilia Topuria, left, delivers a knockout punch to Alexander Volanovski during their featherweight bout at the UFC 298 mixed martial arts event Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Ilia Topuria introduced Alexander Volanovski’s four-year reign as featherweight champion to an finish

Former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker gained a unanimous resolution over Paulo Costa within the penultimate bout of the night time in Southern California.

Whittaker (25-7) rebounded from a loss to future middleweight champ Dricus De Plessis final summer season with a comeback victory over Costa (14-3), who staggered Whittaker with a superb spinning head kick within the last seconds of the primary spherical.

Whittaker was left with a bloody face, however he largely managed the following two rounds on his toes in opposition to a largely inert Costa, who apparently injured his leg.

Robert Whittaker beat Paulo Costa in their middleweight bout at UFC 298
Robert Whittaker beat Paulo Costa of their middleweight bout at UFC 298

Earlier, former two-division UFC champion Cejudo dropped to 0-2 in his comeback bid with a unanimous resolution loss to Dvalishvili. Cejudo had beforehand stated he would retire once more if he misplaced the bout.

Cejudo, the previous US Olympic wrestling gold medallist and UFC champ at flyweight and bantamweight, curiously retired on the peak of his MMA reign in 2020. Now 37, he started his comeback final Could with a loss to Aljamain Sterling.

Cejudo obtained carried throughout the cage at one embarrassing level in opposition to Dvalishvili, who trains on Lengthy Island. Dvalishvili gained his tenth consecutive struggle general and his ninth at bantamweight.

Chinese language mild heavyweight Zhang Mingyang had essentially the most spectacular end on the undercard, knocking out Brendson Ribeiro with a dynamite mixture within the first spherical of his UFC debut.

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