T.J. Dillashaw: Alexander Volkanovski ‘was fighting scared’ at UFC 298, led to Ilia Topuria’s knockout

T.J. Dillashaw questions Alexander Volkanovski’s game plan vs. Ilia Topuria.

Volkanovski (26-4 MMA, 13-3 UFC) lost his featherweight title to Topuria (15-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) by second-round knockout in Saturday’s UFC 298 main event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Dillashaw thinks Volkanovski looked uncharacteristically tentative and feared Topuria’s power.

“He was only throwing kicks. I know he was scared of the power,” Dillashaw said on the “JAXXON PODCAST.” “You can tell the way he was fighting, he was very scared of Topuria’s power, which he should be to an extent, but he’s never fought like that in the past. The first two rounds, all he was doing was throwing kicks. He wasn’t setting them up. He was just throwing them. He was expecting Topuria to block them.

“I was thinking he was trying to slow down his arms because every time you block a kick, it’s like getting a charley horse in your arm. Every time you get hit there, more blood comes to it. It slows his arms down. So, I was thinking maybe he’s slowing down his arms by throwing kicks and getting him to block, because he wasn’t setting them up. He wasn’t throwing kicks to knock him out. You could tell because if he was trying to do that, you’d throw a combo, finish with a kick, hopefully catch him.”

Dillashaw also didn’t like Volkanovski’s body language whenever Topuria would press forward.

“Every time Topuria would get close, he’d be like backing out and leaning away,” Dillashaw continued. “As soon as I saw that, I was like, ‘Damn, he’s going to get caught.’ He was fighting scared. He was worried about the power. I’m a huge Volk fan. I was wanting him to win. … He just kept leaning away, leaning away from everything and leaning away from the power.

“It was only a matter of time before Topuria caught him because that guy stays so tight. He’s so composed in his boxing, and his combos are great. I think that’s where it went wrong. He was scared. He was afraid of his power and fought scared. Topuria didn’t have anything to lose, Volk had all of it to lose, and he fought that way. He fought scared of his power.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 298.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie