Australian rugby player put Khabib in his belt. Volkanovski is a humble UFC superhero
We were lucky that Alexander got into MMA at all.
In the endless debate about “heritage”, the name of Alexander Volkanovski is rarely mentioned. This is unfair: an Australian athlete with Greek-Macedonian roots so cleared the featherweight division that there were no rivals left for him. Now Volkanovski, who goes by the moniker Alexander the Great, wants to move up to lightweight – and fight the winner of the fight Islam Makhachev – Charles Oliveira.
Already at the age of eight, young Volkanovski began to engage in Greco-Roman wrestling, quickly becoming the champion of Australia. Having reached the junior ceiling, Alexander gives up wrestling and moves to rugby. There he also demonstrates outstanding success and even becomes the best player in the regional league. Rugby imposes certain physical requirements on the guy: Volkanovski begins to weigh 96 kilograms with a height of 168 centimeters!
Everything changes with a small stretch obtained in 2012. To maintain a head start in the absence of rugby training, the guy enrolls in the MMA section. Already at the first lesson, Alex decides to spar with an experienced fighter, whom he instantly catches with a painful hold! The newcomer is noticed by trainer Joe Lopez, offering to start a fighting career. And Volkanovski agrees.
He is accompanied by success: Alexander wins victory after victory, first at the amateur, and then at the professional level. The only misstep is the fight with Corey Nelson, when Volkanovski lost by technical knockout. But then Alex again goes on a series of victories, and he is invited to the famous Tiger Muai Thai. And the money for the road to young talent is collected by former comrades in the rugby team.
Then everything is known: the transition to the UFC, a streak of brilliant victories and winning the featherweight title. It is curious that our hero began his career with an average weight, after which he gradually descended lower and lower. Now Volkanovski is one of the main stars of the UFC: what are only a chic trilogy with Max Holloway and four successful belt defenses. Recall that the legendary Khabib defended the title only three times.
Photo: James Gilbert/Getty Images
Now Alexander wants to “get around the corner” of John Jones himself: while Kostyanoy is painfully preparing the transition to heavyweight, Volkanovski is already ready for the fight with the winner of the lightweight bout Islam Makhachev – Charles Oliveira. The Australian generally prefers to talk less and do more, which causes sincere respect. Even if Alex fails in the lightweight division, he definitely deserves a place in the Hall of Fame. Volkanovski is a true MMA legend.