|Born||29 September 1988|
Warilla, New South Wales, Australia
|Residence||Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia|
|Height||5 ft 6 in (168 cm)|
|Weight||145 lb (66 kg; 10 st 5 lb)|
Lightweight (2014; 2016)
|Reach||71 in (180 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Windang, New South Wales, Australia|
|Team||City Kickboxing |
Tiger Muay Thai
Freestyle Fighting Gym
|Rank||Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Joe Lopez|
|Professional boxing record|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|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. Volkanovski 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 September 27, 2021 he is #3 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings.
Volkanovski was born on 29 September 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. Alex began training in Greco-Roman wrestling at an early age and won a national title at the age of 12. He decided to give up wrestling at the age of 14 and instead focused on a career in rugby league as a front rower. Volkanovski attended Lake Illawarra High School throughout his teenage years and worked as a concreter after graduation.
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. 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. 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. 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.
Coach Joe Lopez said Volkanovski started training in MMA at the age of 22 and Greco-Roman wrestling to keep fit during the rugby league off season, where he weighed 97 kg (214 lb). However, he soon realized he had a passion for the sport and wanted to go as far as he could. Volkanovski quickly became a good counter striker with a powerful overhand right as well as a fantastic offensive wrestler. 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.
"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."
Volkanovski is based at Freestyle Fighting Gym in Wollongong but regularly completes training camps at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket and City Kickboxing in Auckland with fellow UFC fighters Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker and Kai Kara-France.
Mixed martial arts 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. Volkanovski amassed a record of 13–1 with 10 straight wins prior to joining the UFC.
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. He announced at the post fight press conference that he would drop from lightweight to featherweight for his next fight.
Volkanovski was expected to face Jeremy Kennedy at UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Tybura on 19 November 2017 in Sydney, Australia. However, Kennedy pulled out of the fight on 5 October citing a back injury and was replaced by Humberto Bandenay. In November 2017, it was announced that Bandenay would delay his UFC debut at this event due to undisclosed reason, and was replaced by promotional newcomer Shane Young. The bout proceeded at a catchweight at 150 pounds. Volkanovski won the fight via unanimous decision.
UFC Featherweight Championship
Volkanovski made his first title defense in a rematch against Max Holloway on 11 July 2020 at UFC 251. He won the fight via split decision. This outcome was controversial amongst media outlets, with 18 out of 27 media scores giving it to Holloway, mixed martial arts personalities such as UFC president Dana White, former referee and creator of the rules system John McCarthy, and multiple mixed martial artists.
Volkanovski was scheduled to make his second title defense against Brian Ortega on March 27, 2021, at UFC 260. However, the fight was cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols. Volkanovski later tweeted that he tested positive for COVID-19.
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.
Volkanovski faced Brian Ortega on September 25, 2021, at UFC 266 for the UFC Featherweight Championship. He won the fight via unanimous decision. This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.
Volkanovski is married to Emma and he has two daughters, Ariana and Airlie. He appeared as a coach in Malaysia Invasion, an amateur MMA reality show. 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.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Australian Fighting Championship
- Australian Fighting Championship Featherweight Champion (Two times)
- Cage Conquest
- Cage Conquest Welterweight Champion
- Pacific Xtreme Combat
- PXC Featherweight Champion
- Roshambo MMA
- Roshambo MMA Lightweight Champion
- Roshambo MMA Welterweight Champion
- Wollongong Wars
- Wollongong Wars Lightweight Champion
- 2019 Breakout Fighter of the Year
- World MMA Awards
- Australian National Schools Wrestling Competition
- Gold medal - 12/13 yrs 62 kg (2001)
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|24 matches||23 wins||1 loss|
|Win||23–1||Brian Ortega||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 266||25 September 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||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 lb) 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 FC 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 FC 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||26 July 2014||1||4:58||Chandler, Australia||Defended the Roshambo MMA Lightweight Championship.|
|Win||6–1||Rodolfo Marques Diniz||KO (punch)||Australian FC 9||17 May 2014||1||3:41||Albury, Australia||Featherweight debut.|
|Win||5–1||Greg Atzori||Submission (guillotine choke)||Roshambo MMA 2||1 February 2014||1||N/A||Brisbane, Australia||Lightweight debut. Won the Roshambo MMA Lightweight Championship.|
|Win||4–1||Luke Catubig||TKO (punches)||Australian FC 7||14 December 2013||3||4:39||Melbourne, Australia|
|Loss||3–1||Corey Nelson||TKO (head kick and punches)||Australian FC 5||10 May 2013||3||0:13||Melbourne, Australia||AFC Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal.|
|Win||3–0||Anton Zafir||TKO (punches)||Roshambo MMA 1||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.|
Professional boxing record
|1 fight||1 win||0 losses|
|1||Win||1–0||Dillon Bargero||UD||4||17 Apr 2015||Hurstville Entertainment Centre, Hurstville, New South Wales, Australia|
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