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Alexander Volkanovski’s return to featherweight won’t be a happy one, his upcoming world title opponent Ilia Topuria has said.

Fresh from a second unsuccessful bid to seize the UFC lightweight title from Islam Makhachev in October, Volkanovski returns to the 145-pound fold he has ruled for the past four years in February’s UFC 298 card in California where he fights the surging contender Topuria, winner of 6 straight fights in the UFC and 14-0 overall in an eight-year career as a pro.

Topuria is considered by many to be among the biggest threats to Volkanovski’s rule at featherweight, given his outstanding performances in recent fights against Bryce Mitchell and Josh Emmett — and the Georgian-Spanish fighter is more than confident that he can turn the division on its head when he is locked in a cage with Volkanovski on February 17 next year.

“He doesn’t stand a chance. He has zero opportunity,” Topuria said in an interview with ESPN Deportes. “I don’t see any holes, but I can tell how he attacks. The only attack I see is that he is going to kick my legs. That’s the only thing that he can do.

“He has good cardio, but everyone has good cardio when they’re not under pressure. When you’re walking forward, you’ll have good cardio. But when you’re in trouble, cardio tends to fade away, and this will be the case. He will have someone in front of him that never goes back.”

Topuria added that he expects the highest standards of himself, and forecasts that his showing in the cage will be “perfect.”

“I think it’s going to be perfect,” Topuria predicted. “It’s going to be a masterpiece, to hit and don’t get hit. That’s what you will see in this combat. You’ll see an authentic mixed martial artist.”

“I don’t have any doubt that the finish will come, and it will be one of the easier fights of my career so far,” he added.