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UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski says that he is ready to silence his doubters in this weekend’s UFC 298 main event. 

Late on Saturday night in Anaheim, Volkanovksi — who has never been defeated at 145-pounds — takes on the unbeaten, 14-0 challenger Ilia Topuria. The Georgian-Spaniard is eight years the Australian’s junior; a factor noted en masse this past few weeks amid statistics that show fighters over the age of 35 don’t very often defeat younger challengers in the 170-pound and below weight classes.

But Volkanovski isn’t letting this rhetoric distract him. On the contrary, in fact.

“All these narratives, I love it,” Volkanovski told the media, including The Mac Life, in Anaheim on Wednesday. “Everyone knows I thrive in these moments. When people doubt me, it’s the best.”

Volk, as dominant a champion as has been seen in the UFC, comes into this bout on the back of an unusual run: two defeats in his last three. But those losses came a weight class above his own, at lightweight, against another top fighter in Islam Mahkachev.

But those losses, including October’s first-round KO defeat, won’t hamper him this weekend, he said.

“It doesn’t get to me,” Volkanovski explained. “If I didn’t go out there and do what happened in October, these conversations are much different — believe me. You can say all you want, ‘This is the guy.’ Post-fight press conference, it’s gonna be a totally different conversation.

“I’m ready for a young, hungry prospect to come and bring a fight but I won’t be surprised, and you shouldn’t be surprised, if I make it look easy. I’m not saying that’s exactly how it is. I’m not cocky like that. I’ve prepared properly, but if he doesn’t land a punch and I rag-doll him and make him look like nothing in there, you shouldn’t be surprised.”