Midnight Mania: Awkward! Volk Walks In On Topuria’s Championship Photoshoot

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

This weekend (Sat. Feb. 17, 2024), UFC Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski seeks to defend his title a sixth time opposite rising star Ilia Topuria in the main event of UFC 298 from Anaheim, California. “The Great” came up short in his last bout to Islam Makhachev in a short-notice Lightweight title shot, but Volkanovski remains Featherweight king and has never tasted defeat at 145 pounds.

So, with that in mind, why is Ilia Topuria taking photos with a UFC title? This is not a rhetorical question … why does Topuria have a belt and why is UFC (presumably?) doing a photoshoot with him holding gold?

The short clip above inspires many such questions. Volkanovski doesn’t seem quite as concerned, however, advising Topuria to “make the most of it” because he “won’t have it after” their actual fight on Saturday night. Afterward, the two were about as friendly and respectful as elite competitors can be.

My best guess is that UFC or Topuria want championship photos without his face bearing the damage that typically comes with winning a belt. Alternatively, Topuria is planning a “Road To The Belt” documentary and has advertised himself on Instagram as a “UFC world champion,” so perhaps this is simply “El Matador” continuing to manifest his way to a championship.

Whatever he’s doing, it’s working so far. Topuria is 14-0 at 27 years of age, and he has a great skill set that is trouble for any man at 145-pounds. Volkanovski isn’t just any man, however, which is why this main event is among the most intriguing in recent memory.


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Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

LIVE! Watch UFC 298 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

WORLD FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Sat., Feb. 17, 2024, for the first time in more than two years with its latest pay-per-view (PPV) show. In the ESPN+-streamed PPV main event, reigning Featherweight roost-ruler, Alexander Volkanovski, will defend his 145-pound strap against undefeated surging Spanish contender, Ilia Topuria. In addition, former Middleweight kingpin, Robert Whittaker, will finally square off with mercurial mauler, Paulo Costa, in UFC 298’s co-feature. UFC 298 will also feature the returns of Ian Garry, Geoff Neal, Henry Cejudo, Merab Dvalishvili and so much more!

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

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