Reigning UFC featherweight champion Aleksander Volkanovski, who is set to make his title defense against Elijah Topuria in just over two months, sees himself as a teacher who must teach a talented but misjudging student a lesson in this fight.
“This guy is cocky – he thinks he’s ready to be a champion,” MMA Fighting quoted the Australian as saying. “It’s funny because I’ve achieved everything on my own and earned my place and respect, and this guy was just taking what he was given and I wouldn’t say he’s managed to take too much. Still, he thinks he’s the strongest, and the great thing about that is that I can teach this kid a lesson.”
“I will teach him a lesson, make him more modest – it will allow him to come to his senses and will only do him good. He needs to be taught modesty. 26 years old, it’s a great age and he needs to be shamed in front of the whole world so that he gets better and one day maybe he will become a great champion. Right now he’s acting like he needs a lesson and I’m going to do it. I’ll embarrass him a little – he’s young enough that it will do him good. For the next few months, I’m going to play the role of teacher.”
As a reminder, the title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Elijah Topuria will be the main event of UFC 298, which will take place on February 17 in Anaheim.