Demetrious Johnson Believes Alexander Volkanovski Would ‘Have To Run Away’ From Ilia Topuria In Rematch: ‘You’re Going To Sleep’

Demetrious Johnson doesn't think an immediate rematch against Ilia Topuria is the best idea for Alexander Volkanovski.

Demetrious Johnson
Demetrious Johnson (left), Alexander Volkanovski (middle), and Ilia Topuria (right)(Images via Instagram @Mighty @AlexVolkanovski @IliaTopuria)

Demetrious Johnson thinks Alexander Volkanovski would struggle in a rematch against Ilia Topuria

On Saturday night, Volkanovski attempted to fend off Topuria in the UFC 298 main event. Unfortunately for ‘The Great,’ Topuria caught him in the second round to secure a knockout win and become the new UFC featherweight champion. 

Following his devastating defeat, Volkanovski voiced his interest in facing Topuria in an immediate rematch. The potential matchup has been widely debated by the MMA community, and Demetrious Johnson recently detailed his point of view in a video posted on his YouTube channel

“I watched his press conference, and he still seems bubbly. There’s a spirit about him where he wants to continue to fight, but the question is, does he do an immediate rematch? For me, after listening to the press conference, Volkanovski was like, ‘Man, I was going to start adding things to the fight.’ When I sit here, if Ilia gets the opportunity to touch you, you’re going to sleep. So, I don’t know what other toolset he was going to bring to the fight to stop Ilia from getting to him.”

Johnson continued: 

“If they do a rematch, all Ilia has to do is touch him. He has to run away from Ilia for twenty-five minutes…I truly feel like Ilia Topuria is a bad matchup for Alex Volkanovski because he doesn’t get frustrated…Ilia was having a hard time getting to Alex Volkanovski, but he stayed calm, he kept walking across the void in that axis.”

Watch Topuria knock out Volkanovski below:

Demetrious Johnson suggests Alexander Volkanovski is more susceptible to getting knocked out

In Oct. 2023, Alexander Volkanovski was denied two-division champion status when Islam Makhachev knocked him out in the UFC 294 main event. The knockout loss was a controversial topic heading into UFC 298, and Demetrious Johnson believes there was a direct correlation to Ilia Topuria doing the same thing. 

Johnson had this to say during the previously mentioned YouTube video: 

“I’d be curious to see how [Alexander Volkanovski] would change the gameplan [for a rematch against Ilia Topuria] because if Ilia touches you, he’s gonna go out. Especially since his last few fights he’s got knocked out…Once you get knocked out and you get knocked again and again, that button goes quicker and quicker and quicker. It happened last night [at UFC 298].”

Alexander Volkanovski has lost three of his last four fights, including two against Islam Makhachev. The 35-year-old now faces the tough challenge of proving there’s more gas left in the tank for another world title run. 

Watch Johnson discuss Volkanovski vs. Topuria below: 

Published on February 19, 2024 at 9:12 pm
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