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UFC 298: Ilia Topuria knocks out champion Alexander Volkanovski, calls out Conor McGregor

Rising star Ilia Topuria knocked UFC featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski off his throne in stunning fashion at UFC 298 on Saturday.

The UFC circus rolled into Anaheim, California, this weekend for UFC 298 and the event did not disappoint. In the featherweight championship main event, long-time champion Volkanovksi was mounting an incredible sixth title defence. However, Topuria had other ideas.

A close first round saw the fighters trade jabs and leg kicks, with the champion getting the better of the exchanges. But Topuria's moment came in the second round, with a blitz putting Volkanovksi against the cage to set up a right-hand for the ages that clipped the champion on the button, putting him out cold on the canvas.

The Georgian fighter earned himself a Performance of the Night bonus and called out the absent Conor McGregor in his post-fight speech with commentator Joe Rogan.

In a middleweight clash of the potential title contenders, Robert Whittaker edged the Adonis that is Paulo Costa via unanimous decision in an entertaining affair. The Reaper enjoyed success with the low kick and jab early on, but Costa was getting closer with his new weapon: the high kick. The Brazilian behemoth ripped a devastating spinning heel kick in the dying embers of the opening round, wobbling Whittaker who was saved by the bell.

But a persistent Whittaker outstruck the durable Costa on his way to a well-earned victory that puts his name back among the middleweight title contenders.

Earlier in the night, the man people love to hate - Ian Machado Garry - was elusive as he worked his way to a split decision win over Geoff Neal to continue his rise up the welterweight rankings. 

Former UFC flyweight and bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo's comeback suffered another setback when Merab Dvalishvili defeated him via decision. Both bantamweights had their moments in the fight, with Cejudo winning the first round with a huge left hand that backed up the Georgian, then later took him down. But Dvalishvili got better as the fight wore on and improved his winning streak to ten fights with the biggest result of his career so far.

In the first fight on the main card, middleweight fighter Anthony Hernandez also earned a Performance of the Night bonus for his rear-naked choke out of Roman Kopylov in the second round.

READ MORE: Dana White says Conor McGregor might be too rich to fight again

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