Bryce Mitchell shows admiration for Ilia Topuria but grants UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski a slight advantage

LAS VEGAS – Bryce Mitchell rates Ilia Topuria highly but is leaning toward Alexander Volkanovski to beat him.

Topuria (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) is expected to be featherweight champion Volkanovski’s (26-2 MMA, 13-1 UFC) next title challenger. The unbeaten top contender handed Mitchell his first-career loss when he ran through him with a second-round submission at UFC 282.

Although Mitchell (15-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) said he was far from 100 percent against Topuria, he shared some praise toward his former foe. However, he doesn’t see him dethroning Volkanovski, who has notched five title defenses during his reign.

“It’s going to be a great fight,” Mitchell told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night 228 media day. “There’s no doubt that dude (Topuria) is going to put on a great performance against whoever you put him with. I think Volkanovski has a little bit of an edge with the experience of the five rounds, and he’s a little bit more well rounded.

“That being said, I don’t think it’s even going to the ground. They’re just going to stand and bang, and I think it’s going to be an awesome show. I would give Volkanovski a slight edge because of where he’s at in his career, but I love that matchup.”

Mitchell will look to rebound from his loss to Topuria when he meets Dan Ige (17-6 MMA, 9-5 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 228 co-main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The event streams on ESPN+.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 228.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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