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Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for Alexander Volkanovski after UFC 298 title loss?

(ALSO SEE: Sean Shelby’s Shoes: What’s next for new champ Ilia Topuria after UFC 298 title win?)

The longest current title reign among UFC champions came to a brutal end Saturday when Alexander Volkanovski lost his featherweight belt to Ilia Topuria in the UFC 298 main event.

After racking up five consecutive title defenses, Volkanovski (26-4 MMA, 13-3 UFC) was unable to get past the hurdle that was rising unbeaten contender Topuria (15-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC), who knocked him out in the second round of their fight at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

With the result, Volkanovski has not only dropped consecutive fights for the first time in his career, but both of them – including his short-notice defeat to Islam Makhachev in their UFC 294 rematch in October – came by way of a rather vicious knockout.

At 35, there now are serious questions about what the future holds for “The Great,” who asked for a rematch with Topuria.

What should be next for Volkanovski? Watch the video above for thoughts and analysis on his future after UFC 298.

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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alexander volkanovski ilia topuria ufc 298 press conference faceoff

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Ilia Topuria UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

Ilia Topuria UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Ilia Topuria UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

Ilia Topuria UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Volkanovski vs Topuria ufc 298 ceremonial

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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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Ilia Topuria UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

Ilia Topuria UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Ilia Topuria UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

Ilia Topuria UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

Alexander Volkanovski UFC 298 ceremonial weigh-ins

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MMA: UFC 298-Volkanovski vs Topuria

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ring announcer Bruce Buffer introduces Ilia Topuria and Alexander Volkanovski…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ring announcer Bruce Buffer introduces Ilia Topuria and Alexander Volkanovski before their match at 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 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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MMA: UFC 298-Volkanovski vs Topuria

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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MMA: UFC 298-Volkanovski vs Topuria

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

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Alexander Volkanovski reacts before fighting 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 fights against Alexander Volkanovski during UFC 298 at…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria fights 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 reacts to his championship victory against Alexander Volkanovski…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Ilia Topuria reacts to 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; Meta chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg attends UFC 298 at…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Meta chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg attends UFC 298 at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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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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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; Alexander Volkanovski reacts following the loss against Ilia Topuria during…

Feb 17, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Alexander Volkanovski reacts 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; 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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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; 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