Topuria now gets his chance against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, who has lost just 145 pounds in any of his 16 professional fights at that weight, including his 11-fight UFC winning streak in the weight class.
The challenger, while well-tested and carrying wins over names like Ryan Hall, Bryce Mitchell and Emmett, doesn’t have the same resume that “The Great” built on the way to his title shot. Volkanovski’s run in his first meeting with Max Holloway included victories over Chad Mendes and José Aldo, as well as seven other professional fights under his belt. Since then, Volkanovski has thwarted Holloway, Brian Ortega, The Korean Zombie and Yair Rodriguez three times.
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In UFC history, undefeated fighters have fought for at least part of the UFC title 35 times, winning 15. Some continue to maintain their unbeaten record for long title reigns, such as Israel Adesanya, Ronda Rousey and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Others, like Holly Holm and Cody Garbrandt, manage to knock out a long-reigning champion, but fail to defend that title afterward.