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Alexander Volkanovski

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Alexander Volkanovski
Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 232.jpg
Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 232
Born (1988-09-29) 29 September 1988 (age 31)[1]
Shellharbour, New South Wales, Australia
Nickname(s)The Great
ResidenceWollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Height5 ft 6 in (168 cm)[2]
Weight145 lb (66 kg; 10 st 5 lb)
DivisionFeatherweight (2014–present)[2]
Lightweight (2014; 2016)
Welterweight (2012–2013)
Reach71 12 in (182 cm)[2]
Fighting out ofWindang, New South Wales, Australia
TeamCity Kickboxing
Tiger Muay Thai
Freestyle Fighting Gym[4][5]
RankBrown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[6] under Joe Lopez[citation needed]
Years active2012–present
Professional boxing record
Total1
Wins1
Losses0
Mixed martial arts record
Total23
Wins22
By knockout11
By submission3
By decision8
Losses1
By knockout1
Other information
Websitealexanderthegreatvolkanovski.com
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Alexander Volkanovski (born 29 September 1988) is an Australian professional mixed martial artist, currently signed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the current UFC Featherweight Champion.[7] Volkanovski is also a former Australian Fighting Championship (AFC) Featherweight champion.[8][2] As of May 24, 2020, he is #7 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings.[9]

Background

Volkanovski was born on 29 September 1988, in Shellharbour, New South Wales. His father was born in the village of Beranci in SR Macedonia, part of Yugoslavia, while his mother is from Greece.[10][11] Alex began training in Greco-Roman wrestling at an early age and won a national title at the age of 12.[12][13] He decided to give up wrestling at the age of 14 and instead focused on a career in rugby league as a front rower.[13][14] Volkanovski attended Lake Illawarra High School throughout his teenage years[15] and worked as a concreter after graduation.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18][19] 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.[20] 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.[21]

Coach Joe Lopez said Volkanovski started training in MMA at the age of 22[14] and Greco-Roman wrestling to keep fit during the rugby league off season, where he weighed 97 kg (214 lb).[22] However, he soon realised he had a passion for the sport and wanted to go as far as he could.[23] Volkanovski quickly became a good counter striker with a powerful overhand right as well as a fantastic offensive wrestler.[24] 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.[14]

"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."[25]

Volkanovski is based at Freestyle Fighting Gym in Wollongong[26] but regularly completes training camps at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket[27] and City Kickboxing in Auckland with fellow UFC fighters Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker and Kai Kara-France.[28]

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 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 Featherweight titles.[29][30] Volkanovski amassed a record of 13–1 with 10 straight wins prior to joining the UFC.[31]

Ultimate Fighting Championship

Volkanovski made his promotional debut on 26 November 2016 and increased his win streak to 11 with a second-round TKO against Yusuke Kasuya at UFC Fight Night 101.[32][33] He announced at the post fight press conference that he would drop from lightweight to featherweight for his next fight.[34][8]

Volkanovski was expected to face Michel Quiones on 19 February 2017 at UFC Fight Night 105. However, the bout was scrapped after Quinones suffered an injury and no replacement could be found.[35]

Volkanovski returned to Featherweight and faced Mizuto Hirota on 11 June 2017 at UFC Fight Night 110.[36] He won the fight by unanimous decision.[37]

Volkanovski was expected to face Jeremy Kennedy at UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura on 19 November 2017 in Sydney, Australia.[38] However, Kennedy pulled out of the fight on 5 October citing a back injury[39] and was replaced by Humberto Bandenay.[40] In November 2017, it was announced that Bandenay would delay his UFC debut at this event due to undisclosed reason,[41] and was replaced by promotional newcomer Shane Young.[42] The bout proceeded at a catchweight at 150 pounds.[43] Volkanovski won the fight via unanimous decision.[44]

The bout with Kennedy was rescheduled and took place on 11 February 2018 at UFC 221.[45] He won the fight via technical knock out.[46]

Volkanovski faced Darren Elkins on 14 July 2018 at UFC Fight Night 133.[47] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[48]

Volkanovski faced Chad Mendes on 29 December 2018 at UFC 232.[49] He won the fight via technical knockout in round two.[50] This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.[51]

Volkanovski faced former featherweight champion José Aldo at UFC 237 on 11 May 2019.[52] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[53]

UFC featherweight championship

Volkanovski faced Max Holloway on 14 December 2019 for the UFC Featherweight Championship at UFC 245.[54] After using volumes of low kicks and outstriking the champion in every round, Volkanovski won the fight via unanimous decision.[55][56]

Volkanovski made his first title defense in a rematch against Max Holloway on 11 July 2020 at UFC 251.[57] He won the fight via split decision.[58] This decision was controversial amongst media outlets[59][60][61] and mixed martial arts personalities such as UFC president Dana White[62], former referee and creator of the rules system John McCarthy[63][64][65] and multiple mixed martial artists.[66]

Personal life

Volkanovski is married to Emma and he has two daughters, Ariana and Airlie.[67] He appeared as a coach in Malaysia Invasion, an amateur MMA reality show.[68] Because of his Macedonian and Greek heritage, he uses the nickname "The Great" in reference to Alexander the Great. He has claimed that it is a historical fact that Alexander the Great was of a mixed Macedonian and Greek heritage, similar to himself.[69]

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed Martial Arts

Amateur Wrestling

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

Boxing

Volkanvoski has one boxing bout. A Super welterweight bout he won by unanimous decision in four rounds against Dillon Bargero.[71]

Professional Boxing record

Professional record summary
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

Mixed martial arts record

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

[72]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b c d "Alexander "The Great" Volkanovski – Official UFC Profile". UFC.com. Archived from the original on 17 June 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  3. ^ "ALEXANDER VOLKANOVSKI 'THE GREAT'". FightMetric. FightMetric.
  4. ^ "Freestyle Fighting Gym". Retrieved 8 March 2020.
  5. ^ "ALEXANDER "THE GREAT" VOLKANOVSKI". Topology. Topology.
  6. ^ Dan Tom (14 December 2019). "UFC 245 breakdown: Is Alexander Volkanovski the man to unseat Max Holloway as champ?". MMAjunkie.com.
  7. ^ "Fighter Rankings | UFC ®". UFC. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Champions". Australian Fighting Championship. Australian Fighting Championship.
  9. ^ "Rankings | UFC". www.ufc.com. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
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  11. ^ https://www.athletesvoice.com.au/alex-volkanovski-mick-cronin-medal-to-ufc/#tdHl8OA55Q3U9mOK.97
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  13. ^ a b "From Rugby League To UFC, Alexander Volkanovski Just Wins - FloCombat". Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  14. ^ a b c "Volkanovski wants statement with 'savage ground and pound'". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
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External links

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