Alexander Volkanovski

Alexander Volkanovski
Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 232.jpg
Volkanovski in 2018
Born (1988-09-29) September 29, 1988 (age 33)[1]
Shellharbour, New South Wales, Australia
Nickname(s)The Great
ResidenceWollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Height5 ft 6 in (168 cm)
Weight145 lb (66 kg; 10 st 5 lb)
DivisionFeatherweight (2014–present)[2]
Lightweight (2014; 2016)
Welterweight (2012–2013)
Reach71 in (180 cm)[2]
Fighting out ofWindang, New South Wales, Australia
TeamCity Kickboxing
Tiger Muay Thai
Freestyle Fighting Gym[4][5]
RankBlack belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Joe Lopez[6]
Years active2012–present
Professional boxing record
Total1
Wins1
Losses0
Mixed martial arts record
Total26
Wins25
By knockout12
By submission3
By decision10
Losses1
By knockout1
Other information
Websitealexandervolkanovski.com
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Alexander Volkanovski (born September 29, 1988) is an Australian professional mixed martial artist. He currently competes in the Featherweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the current UFC Featherweight Champion. He is also a former Australian Fighting Championship (AFC) Featherweight champion. Prior to his UFC debut, Volkanovski competed as a professional boxer in 2015. As of April 12, 2022, he is #2 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings.[7]

Background

Volkanovski was born on September 29, 1988, in Shellharbour, New South Wales. His father was born in the village of Beranci in SR Macedonia (now North Macedonia) while his mother is from Greece.[8][9] Alex began training in Greco-Roman wrestling at an early age and won a national title twice at the age of 12.[10][11] He decided to give up wrestling at the age of 14 and instead focused on a career in rugby league as a front rower.[11][12] Volkanovski attended Lake Illawarra High School throughout his teenage years[13] and worked as a concreter after graduation.[14]

He played semi-professional rugby league for the Warilla Gorillas in the South Coast Rugby League where he was awarded the Mick Cronin Medal in 2010 as the league's best player.[15] He also played a crucial role in Warilla's 2011 Premiership winning season and received the Man of the Match award for his performance in his team's Grand Final victory over Gerringong.[16][17] Volkanovski then decided to quit rugby league at 23 years of age to pursue a professional career in Mixed Martial Arts in the latter half of 2011.[18] He claims to have watched Ultimate Fighting Championship events since childhood and would often rent UFC VHS tapes from Blockbuster as well as purchase UFC pay per views from 14 years of age.[19]

Coach Joe Lopez said Volkanovski started training in MMA at the age of 22[12] and Greco-Roman wrestling to keep fit during the rugby league off season, where he weighed 97 kg (214 lb).[20] However, he soon realized he had a passion for the sport and wanted to go as far as he could.[21] Volkanovski quickly became a good counter striker with a powerful overhand right as well as a fantastic offensive wrestler.[22] He initially competed in multiple amateur fights in the middleweight division as he adjusted from his rugby weight before turning professional and moving down to welterweight, lightweight and ultimately the featherweight division.[12]

"There are no excuses in fighting. You can be playing a team sport and have a good game, and you can lose. In fighting, it’s all on me. If I go out there and lose, then it’s my fault. I like that. So I know if I fight well, I’m going to win. I definitely love the fact that it’s all on you, and you do what you have to do to win. Each fight is like a grand final in the rugby league."[23]

Volkanovski is based at Freestyle Fighting Gym in Wollongong[24] but regularly completes training camps at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket[25] and City Kickboxing in Auckland with fellow UFC fighters, current UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker and Kai Kara-France.[26]

Mixed martial arts career

Early career

Starting as an amateur at middleweight and going 4–0 before turning professional, Volkanovski has fought in various MMA organizations in the Oceania region in Asia from 2012 to July 2016 before signing with the UFC. He won a Pacific Xtreme Combat (PXC) title and two Australian Fighting Championship (AFC) Featherweight titles.[27][28] Volkanovski amassed a record of 13–1 with 10 straight wins prior to joining the UFC.[29]

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Volkanovski made his promotional debut on November 26, 2016, and increased his win streak to 11 with a second-round TKO against Yusuke Kasuya at UFC Fight Night 101.[30][31] He announced at the post-fight press conference that he would drop from lightweight to featherweight for his next fight.[32][33]

Move down to Featherweight

Volkanovski was expected to face Michel Quiñones on February 19, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 105. However, the bout was scrapped after Quiñones suffered an injury and no replacement could be found.[34]

Volkanovski returned to Featherweight and faced Mizuto Hirota on June 11, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 110.[35] He won the fight via unanimous decision after almost finishing Hirota following a knockdown.[36]

Volkanovski was expected to face Jeremy Kennedy at UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura on November 19, 2017, in Sydney, Australia.[37] However, Kennedy pulled out of the fight on October 5, citing a back injury[38] and was replaced by Humberto Bandenay.[39] In November 2017, it was announced that Bandenay would delay his UFC debut at this event due to undisclosed reasons, and was replaced by Drex Zamboanga.[40][41] In turn, Zamboanga pulled out of the fight due to visa issues and was replaced by promotional newcomer Shane Young.[41] The bout proceeded at a catchweight of 150 pounds.[42] Volkanovski won the fight via unanimous decision.[43]

The bout with Kennedy was rescheduled and took place on February 11, 2018, at UFC 221.[44] He won the fight via technical knockout.[45]

Volkanovski faced Darren Elkins on July 14, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 133.[46] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[47]

Volkanovski faced Chad Mendes on December 29, 2018, at UFC 232.[48] He won the fight via technical knockout in round two after surviving two knockdowns himself.[49] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[50]

Volkanovski faced former featherweight champion José Aldo at UFC 237 on May 11, 2019.[51] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[52]

UFC Featherweight Championship

Volkanovski faced Max Holloway on December 14, 2019, for the UFC Featherweight Championship at UFC 245.[53] Volkanovski won the fight via unanimous decision.[54][55]

Volkanovski made his first title defense in a rematch against Max Holloway on July 11, 2020, at UFC 251.[56] He won the fight via split decision.[57] This outcome was controversial amongst media outlets, with 18 out of 27 media scores giving it to Holloway,[58][59][60] mixed martial arts personalities such as UFC president Dana White,[61] former referee and creator of the rules system John McCarthy,[62][63][64] and multiple mixed martial artists.[65]

Volkanovski was scheduled to make his second title defense against Brian Ortega on March 27, 2021, at UFC 260.[66] However, the fight was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols.[67] Volkanovski later tweeted that he tested positive for COVID-19.[68]

On April 2, 2021, it was announced that Brian Ortega and Volkanovski would be the coaches for The Ultimate Fighter 29 at ESPN+ and the show will feature contestants at bantamweight and middleweight.[69]

Volkanovski faced Brian Ortega on September 25, 2021, at UFC 266 for the UFC Featherweight Championship.[70] He won the fight via unanimous decision. Volkanovski received universal praise for escaping multiple submission attempts and persevering.[71] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[72]

Volkanovski was scheduled to face Max Holloway for a third time on March 5, 2022, at UFC 272.[73] However, a day after the announcement, Holloway was forced to pull from the event due to injury.[74] Holloway was replaced by Chan Sung Jung and the title bout was moved to UFC 273 on April 9, 2022.[75] Volkanovski won the fight early in the fourth round via standing TKO after dominating the majority of the bout and scoring three knockdowns.[76] The win earned him the Performance of the Night award.[77] The fight also earned him second place in the "Fan Bonus of the Night" award.[78]

The trilogy bout against Holloway was rescheduled at UFC 276 on July 2, 2022.[79] Volkanovski won the bout via unanimous decision,[80] This win earn him the Crypto.com Fan Bonus of the Night second place award which paid in bitcoin of US$20,000.[81]

Professional boxing career

Volkanovski has a single boxing bout, which was a Super welterweight bout he won by unanimous decision in four rounds against Dillon Bargero.[82][83]

Personal life

Volkanovski is married to Emma and he has two daughters, Ariana and Airlie.[84] He appeared as a coach in Malaysia Invasion, an amateur MMA reality show.[85] Because of his paternal Macedonian and maternal Greek heritage, he uses the nickname "The Great" in reference to Alexander the Great, claiming that he had "a Macedonian father and a Greek mother", similar to himself.[86]

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts

Amateur wrestling

  • Australian National Schools Wrestling Competition
    • Gold medal - 12/13 yrs 62 kg (2001)[10]

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
26 matches 25 wins 1 loss
By knockout 12 1
By submission 3 0
By decision 10 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 25–1 Max Holloway Decision (unanimous) UFC 276 July 2, 2022 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Win 24–1 Chan Sung Jung TKO (punches) UFC 273 April 9, 2022 4 0:45 Jacksonville, Florida, United States Defended the UFC Featherweight Championship. Performance of the Night.
Win 23–1 Brian Ortega Decision (unanimous) UFC 266 September 25, 2021 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Defended the UFC Featherweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 22–1 Max Holloway Decision (split) UFC 251 July 12, 2020 5 5:00 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Defended the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Win 21–1 Max Holloway Decision (unanimous) UFC 245 December 14, 2019 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Won the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Win 20–1 José Aldo Decision (unanimous) UFC 237 May 11, 2019 3 5:00 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Win 19–1 Chad Mendes TKO (punches) UFC 232 December 29, 2018 2 4:14 Inglewood, California, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 18–1 Darren Elkins Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: dos Santos vs. Ivanov July 14, 2018 3 5:00 Boise, Idaho, United States
Win 17–1 Jeremy Kennedy TKO (punches and elbows) UFC 221 February 11, 2018 2 4:57 Perth, Australia
Win 16–1 Shane Young Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura November 19, 2017 3 5:00 Sydney, Australia Catchweight (150 lb) bout.
Win 15–1 Mizuto Hirota Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Hunt June 11, 2017 3 5:00 Auckland, New Zealand Return to Featherweight.
Win 14–1 Yusuke Kasuya TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Brunson November 26, 2016 2 2:06 Melbourne, Australia
Win 13–1 Jai Bradney TKO (punches) Wollongong Wars 4 July 8, 2016 1 N/A Wollongong, Australia Return to Lightweight. Won the Wollongong Wars Lightweight Championship.
Win 12–1 Jamie Mullarkey KO (punch) Australian FC 15 May 19, 2016 1 3:23 Melbourne, Australia Defended the AFC Featherweight Championship.
Win 11–1 Yusuke Yachi Submission (triangle choke) Pacific Xtreme Combat 50 December 4, 2015 4 3:43 Mangilao, Guam Won the PXC Featherweight Championship.
Win 10–1 James Bishop TKO (punches) Australian FC 13 June 14, 2015 1 1:39 Melbourne, Australia Won the AFC Featherweight Championship.
Win 9–1 David Butt TKO (punches) Wollongong Wars 2 November 1, 2014 2 1:52 Thirroul, Australia Lightweight bout.
Win 8–1 Kyle Reyes Decision (unanimous) Pacific Xtreme Combat 45 October 24, 2014 3 5:00 Mangilao, Guam Return to Featherweight.
Win 7–1 Jai Bradney Submission (rear-naked choke) Roshambo MMA 3 July 26, 2014 1 4:58 Chandler, Australia Defended the Roshambo MMA Lightweight Championship.
Win 6–1 Rodolfo Marques Diniz KO (punch) Australian FC 9 May 17, 2014 1 3:41 Albury, Australia Featherweight debut.
Win 5–1 Greg Atzori Submission (guillotine choke) Roshambo MMA 2 February 1, 2014 1 N/A Brisbane, Australia Lightweight debut. Won the Roshambo MMA Lightweight Championship.
Win 4–1 Luke Catubig TKO (punches) Australian FC 7 December 14, 2013 3 4:39 Melbourne, Australia
Loss 3–1 Corey Nelson TKO (head kick and punches) Australian FC 5 May 10, 2013 3 0:13 Melbourne, Australia AFC Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal.
Win 3–0 Anton Zafir TKO (punches) Roshambo MMA 1 April 17, 2013 4 2:19 Brisbane, Australia Won the Roshambo MMA Welterweight Championship.
Win 2–0 Regan Wilson TKO (doctor stoppage) Southern Fight Promotions: Cage Conquest 2 February 23, 2013 1 2:49 Nowra, Australia Won the Cage Conquest Welterweight Championship.
Win 1–0 Gerhard Voigt Decision (unanimous) Revolution Promotions: Revolution at the Roxy May 19, 2012 3 5:00 Sydney, Australia Welterweight debut.

[93]

Professional boxing record

1 fight 1 win 0 losses
By decision 1 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
1 Win 1–0 Australia Dillon Bargero UD 4 17 Apr 2015 Australia Hurstville Entertainment Centre, Hurstville, New South Wales, Australia

[82][83]

See also

References

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External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by 5th UFC Featherweight Champion
14 December 2019 – current
Incumbent

Information

Article Alexander Volkanovski in English Wikipedia took following places in local popularity ranking:

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