Daily Star



ILIA TOPURIA had a “point” to prove at UFC 298 – and made it in emphatic fashion.

‘El Matador’ had vowed to put away Aussie bull Alexander Volkanovsk­i and claim the featherwei­ght title at the Honda

Centre in Anaheim, California.

Topuria, 27, and Volkanovsk­i, 35, both played the fight up as a battle of different generation­s, with the Spaniard’s second-round KO victory, via a concussive by GARY HITCHCOCK right hand, ensuring the 145lb division will be entering a new era. After handing Volkanovsk­i (inset), who had defended the title five times, his first defeat in the featherwei­ght division, Topuria said: “There is a reason he was such a great champion. We are going to remember him for always. “He done so many great things in the featherwei­ght division. I am so happy to be able to beat somebody like him because, right now, there is no doubt I am the best in the featherwei­ght division.”

Topuria (right) added: “Me as champion looks like a person who is a very complete fighter – he is good everywhere.

“If you want to come here and take this belt, just make sure you are good everywhere.

“That your striking is on point, that your wrestling is on point, your ground game and your mental strength is on point.

“All of it, because you have to beat the man. I represent the evolution of mixed martial arts, because I am on point.” Welshman Oban Elliott enjoyed a successful octagon debut as he outpointed fellow welterweig­ht Val Woodburn. Also in the 170lb division, Ireland’s Ian Machado Garry extended his unbeaten run to 14-0, the last seven in the UFC, with a split-decision win over Geoff Neal.

UFC president Dana White also announced that Alex Pereira will defend his lightheavy­weight title against Jamahal Hill in the main event of UFC 300 in Las Vegas on April 13.

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