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Alexander Volkanovski loses UFC featherweight title with second-round KO

Ilia Topuria lands a heavy bow on Alexander Volkanovski in Sunday’s featherweight title fight at UFC 298 n Anaheim, California.

Ilia Topuria lands a heavy bow on Alexander Volkanovski in Sunday’s featherweight title fight at UFC 298 n Anaheim, California. Photo: Getty

Australia’s Alexander Volkanovski has lost his UFC featherweight title to Ilia Topuria, with the Spaniard scoring a stunning second-round knockout in the main event at UFC 298 in Los Angeles.

Topuria landed a perfect right hand to settle a previously close contest three minutes and 32 seconds into round two.

Both men had their moments in a fascinating first round, but Volkanovski won the round on all three judges’ cards.

Making his sixth title defence, Volkanovski also enjoyed some good moments in the second round before he was backed up and Topuria threw four successive punches, the last crumpling the champion and forcing the referee to stop the fight.

“i just had to throw a lot of punches in this fight, a lot of combinations and this is what I did,” said Topuria, who had predicted a KO win.

It is Volkanovski’s third loss in his past four fights, but his first at featherweight, following two 2023 defeats from lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.

“Well done to him, he caught me big,” Volkanovksi  said.

‘I was going to start working everything, but he got me so credit to him.

“He’s a hard hitter, we knew that coming in,” added Volkanovksi, who called for a rematch in Spain.

Australia’s former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker moved closer to another title shot with a gritty unanimous points win in an epic encounter with Brazilian Paulo Costa in the co-main event.

Beaten in two of this past three fights, 33-year-old Whitaker, absorbed some punishing head kicks, but landed numerous fast punch combinations and some hurtful leg kicks.

The No.3-ranked fighter earned the judges’ approval by two scores of 29-28 and one of 30-27 and kept himself in contention for a shot at champion Dricus Du Plessis, who stopped him in a non-title fight last year.

-AAP

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