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Alexander Volkanovski’s coach after UFC 298: We knew Ilia Topuria had a puncher’s chance – and he got it

Joe Lopez suggests Ilia Topuria simply capitalized on his puncher’s chance at UFC 298.

Alexander Volkanovski (26-4 MMA, 13-3 UFC) lost his featherweight title to Topuria (15-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) by second-round knockout in Saturday’s UFC 298 main event.

All three judges scored Round 1 in favor of Volkanovski, and his head coach believes he was starting to take control before he got caught.

“Alex was going through the game plan, was finding his range and starting to touch him up,” Lopez told the Daily Mail. “(I) was disappointed (by the result), knowing that Alex has a much better skillset.”

Lopez said they were aware of the power Topuria packs but appeared to insinuate that’s all they had to worry about. Four of Topuria’s past six wins have come by knockout.

“We knew coming into this fight he had a puncher’s chance – and he got that punch,” Lopez said.

Former five-time defending champion Volkanovski called for an immediate rematch with Topuria, who called out Conor McGregor in his post-fight speech. Topuria has been dismissive of most top contenders – including running things back with Volkanovski, but said he’d be open to a rematch if the UFC offered it.

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

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Alexander Volkanovski as "Old Man Volk"

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Ilia Topuria UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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UFC 298 Ceremonial Weigh-in

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 16: (L-R) Opponents Alexander Volkanovski of Australia and Ilia Topuria of Germany…

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 16: (L-R) Opponents Alexander Volkanovski of Australia and Ilia Topuria of Germany face off during the UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-in at Honda Center on February 16, 2024 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

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Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria before fighting against Alexander Volkanovski during UFC 298…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria before fighting against Alexander Volkanovski during UFC 298 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria before fighting against Alexander Volkanovski during UFC 298…

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Ilia Topuria def. Alexander Volkanovski, UFC 298 1

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Ilia Topuria def. Alexander Volkanovski, UFC 298 2

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Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during…

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Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during…

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Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Alexander Volkanovski reacts following the loss against Ilia Topuria during…

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Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during…

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Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during UFC 298 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 298-Volkanovski vs Topuria

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during UFC 298 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 298-Volkanovski vs Topuria

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during…

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Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Alexander Volkanovski leaves following the loss against Ilia Topuria during…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Alexander Volkanovski leaves following the loss against Ilia Topuria during UFC 298 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 298-Volkanovski vs Topuria

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during UFC 298 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 298-Volkanovski vs Topuria

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during UFC 298 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 298-Volkanovski vs Topuria

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Rose petals on the mat after Ilia Topuria celebrates his…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Rose petals on the mat after Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during UFC 298 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 298-Volkanovski vs Topuria

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during UFC 298 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 298-Volkanovski vs Topuria

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during UFC 298 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 298-Volkanovski vs Topuria

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria celebrates his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski during UFC 298 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Ilia Topuria def. Alexander Volkanovski, UFC 298 Scorecard

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie