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Former UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski says that things will be different if and when he gets a second crack at Ilia Topuria.

The Georgian-Spaniard scored a sensational second-round KO finish of the Australian at their UFC 298 clash in February, becoming the first 145-pound fighter to ever score a victory against a fighter considered to be the division’s pacesetter for the past several years.

The 27-year-old’s title win came in the echo of reports in the press at the time which highlighted a trend in UFC title fights from 170-pounds and below which suggested that fighters of Volkanovski’s vintage (he’s 35) have diminishing returns in title bouts against younger opposition.

But despite that stat proving true (on this occasion, at least), Volkanovski is adamant that their still-hypothetical rematch will produce a different result.

“Ilia is a great fighter — let’s see because the next Volkanovski is going to turn up,” the former champ told AllStar, as noted by MMA Junkie.

“The real Volkanovski, I guarantee you that, and let’s see if Ilia can handle that. Again, I’m not taking anything away from him, I’m not saying he can’t. He’s obviously got heavy hands. He’s obviously got good skill, but I want him to be tested against the best version of myself or all the top guys and really prove himself.”

Their February fight came just four months after Volkanovski sustained another KO defeat, this time in a short notice lightweight title bout against Islam Makhachev in a rematch of their thrilling five-round decision the prior February.

And Volkanovski said that the version of himself that came to the cage against Topuria was unusually hesitant, perhaps as a result of how previous fights went down.

“You’re not going to see a timid Volk,” he said. “You’re going to see a Volk that fights his fight. You want to be put in front of me and put yourself in a position to land bombs, be ready for one coming straight back at you.”

The Australian will likely have to wait for revenge against Topuria until the new champion’s proposed showdown with Max Holloway reaches a conclusion. Until them, he says he is happy to fight someone else — but only in the lightweight division.

“You find me an exciting fight, maybe in the lightweight division or something, like that that’s fun, maybe because I won’t want to wait too long,” he explained. “Maybe we could put something out there, but my next featherweight fight is for the belt. Obviously you had a few people call me out, which credit to them. But believe me: I’m not in that position where I need to fight anybody else but the champ.”