Morning Report: Ilia Topuria’s coach recommends Alexander Volkanovski take fight before title rematch

Alexander Volkanovski is adamant that his next fight will be an immediate title fight rematch with Ilia Topuria.

By all accounts, it’s hard to argue against “The Great” deserving a shot at redemption against his successor after a lengthy title reign that saw him defend the belt five times. However, Volkanovski, 35, is planning to rest and recover after two consecutive knockout losses. As a result, he’s got no problem with Topuria defending against someone else in the interim. He just strongly believes his next fight will be in a redemptive effort.

Even Topuria’s coach Jorge Climent is in the camp that Volkanovski should get a rematch thanks to all he’s accomplished as an all-time great. At the same time, a tune-up of sorts might be a better approach first, says Climent.

“I do believe that Volkanovski deserves a rematch for everything he’s done in this sport, plus the short-notice fight he took,” Climent told MMA Junkie. “However, if I were his team or his friend, I’d tell him, ‘Look, relax. Go get another fight to get back on your feet, go feel good again, win, and then we go after him.’ That would be the smartest thing he could do. And again, if I were his friend, that’s what I’d recommend him.”

The current two-fight skid Volkanovski rides is the first losing streak of his illustrious 30-fight career (26-4). Topuria, 27, became the first to defeat the Australian at featherweight as Volkanovski’s previous loss was in his lightweight title rematch against Islam Makhachev. Unfortunately for Volkanovski, a head kick early in round one ended his night in that matchup at UFC 294 this past October.

If Volkanovski isn’t Topuria’s first title defense, another former champion in Max Holloway sounds like a good possibility. “Blessed” will first try to become the new BMF champion when he battles Justin Gaethje at UFC 300 next month in a lightweight affair. After that, and especially with a win, Holloway could have a world of options at his disposal, including another crack at 145-pound gold.

“Of course Volkanovski deserves it, but I would find it unfair,” Climent said. “He’s coming off two defeats, and I don’t see him recovered enough to go for the immediate rematch. That’s why, if I were his friend, I’d tell him, ‘Take it easy, go do another fight, get your confidence back up, and we’ll do it again.’

“I think Volkanovski and Holloway deserve it most. After that, it’s pretty even among everyone else. I think those two are the ones that most deserve to fight for the title — Holloway and Volkanovski.”


TOP STORIES

Possibilities. Dustin Poirier reacts to delays in Conor McGregor’s return, addresses his future after UFC 299

Growth. TKO president declares UFC now one of the 4 major sports: ‘Against the NHL, even including the playoffs, we dwarf them’

Rivals. Francis Ngannou has heated press conference exchange with Tyson Fury: ‘I’m going to wipe the ring with your ass again’

Gifts. Petr Yan: Chito Vera got UFC 299 title shot because Sean O’Malley ‘doesn’t believe he can beat any other top contenders’

Change. UFC 299 fighters face slightly different weigh-in rules under Florida commission

Out. Judge disqualifies 13 witnesses from testifying in upcoming UFC antitrust trial

Contenders. Gilbert Burns: Belal Muhammad ‘not that entertaining but he’s very, very good,’ he can beat Leon Edwards

Location. UFC returns to Abu Dhabi with Fight Night card in August

Whoops. Michael Page reveals UFC’s ‘mistake’ in negotiations, eyes title fight against Leon Edwards

Rematch. Chito Vera reveals Sean O’Malley DMs ahead of UFC 299: ‘He’s a weird guy, he likes weird s***’


VIDEO STEW

The MMA Hour.

UFC 299 Media Day.

Embedded 3.

Holland vs. MVP preview.

RIZIN Confessions 144.

Fancy DT UFC 299 breakdown.


LISTEN UP

No Bets Barred. MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew and Conner Burks discuss if Sean O’Malley can get revenge against Chito Vera at UFC 299. Plus Ngannou vs. Joshua.


MORNING MUSIC


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Vegas Paulo?

Fight week.

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Accepted?

Old man Thomson.

Long live frat boy Dana.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Usman Nurmagomedov (17-0, 1 NC) vs. Alexander Shabliy (23-3); Bellator 303, May 12

Patchy Mix (19-1) vs. Magomed Magomedov (16-1); Bellator 303, May 12

Gregory Babene (23-11) vs. Costello van Steenis (14-3); Bellator 303, May 12

Slim Trabelsi (6-0) vs. Louie Sutherland (6-2); Bellator 303, May 12

Mansour Barnaoui (20-6) vs. Yusuke Yachi (26-13); Bellator 303, May 12

Tom Nolan (6-1) vs. Victor Martinez (13-5); UFC Vegas 92, May 18

Mickey Gall (7-5) vs. Bassil Hafez (8-4-1); UFC 302, June 1


FINAL THOUGHTS

Is it funny to anyone else that there appears to be more investment from PFL in Bellator than their usual product? I like what I’m seeing in that aspect, but the seasons are supposed to start next month and the full tournament competitors are still a mystery.

Thanks for reading!


EXIT POLL

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