Alexander Volkanovski calls for rematch after UFC 298 loss: ‘I’ve been a company man’

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Alexander Volkanovski gives all the credit in the world to new UFC featherweight champion Ilia Topuria, but he wants another go.

Saturday at Honda Center, the long-reigning titleholder Volkanovski (26-4 MMA, 13-3 UFC) was knocked out by Topuria (15-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) in the UFC 298 main event, but was in an upbeat mood as he spoke to reporters backstage at a post-fight news conference.

“He caught me,” Volkanovski told MMA Junkie and others. “That’s that. I felt good in there. I felt like I saw everything early, but he ended up catching me. I was pretty comfortable in the first round. Then we started to do more. I was just about to do more and he caught me. That’s just the game. I’m pretty confident we were probably even up through then, but that’s just the game.”

“… You can’t take anything away from Topuria. If he puts a hand on you like that, you’re going to go down. I don’t care. That’s just that. That was a clean right hand. I think no matter who you are, if you let one of those land on your chin while you’re caught there, you’re probably going down. … I won’t take nothing away from him. I won’t sit there and say, ‘It was this. It was that.’ I felt great. Camp was great. I felt good in there.”

Volkanovski detoured away from an in-depth breakdown of what he would do differently should the two fight a second time, as to not reveal all his secrets. But one things for certain, he wants the opportunity to reveal them to the world.

“Obviously, I’ve been a champ for a long time,” Volkanovski said. “I want that rematch. That’s something that needs to happen. I’ve been reigning champ for how long? I’ve been a company man. I’ve backed up on short notice and fought Max (Holloway) three times. You name it, I’ve done it. I’ve been champ for a long time, so I think I deserve that. It’s going to be different next time.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 298.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie