Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski: The Ultimate Fighter

Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski: The Ultimate Fighter

Ozed Opia

"Any one, any place, any time." It's a catchphrase we often hear but seldom witness. Yet, when one talks about Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski, it's not just a motto; it's a way of life. Among the many gladiators of the octagon, Volkanovski's spirit shines with an uncommon intensity. His drive is simple yet profound: an unwavering quest to establish clear dominance over his adversaries.

For those who might need a refresher on his journey, Volkanovski's level of competition is hard to match: Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo, Max Holloway, Brian Ortega, The Korean Zombie, Islam Makhachev, and Yair Rodriguez. Zooming in on his encounters with Max Holloway offers an even deeper insight. Not only has Volkanovski defeated Holloway thrice, but he stands as the singular featherweight to have bested him over the past decade. Their last dance in the ring was such a clinical display that many felt Max was simply out of his depth.

Much of Volkanovski's meteoric rise can be attributed to his meticulous fight preparations. Committed to being the best version of himself, he ensures that he's surrounded by the best. Imagine a training session where he exchanges blows with Israel Adesanya and rolls on the mats with Craig Jones, all within the same round. Such rigorous training has poised him to be ever-ready, a fact that was glaringly evident in his face-off with Islam Makhachev.

Their clash at UFC 284 was nothing short of a spectacle. Many had undervalued Volkanovski's prowess, considering him an heavy underdog. The reason? The seemingly impenetrable fortress of the Dagestani grappling style. Yet, there was an ace up Volkanovski's sleeve that many failed to consider: Craig Jones — kryptonite to the sambo. “Sambo is fake”, according to Jones. “If Islam gets a submission, that’s a jiu-jitsu submission. If he gets a takedown, that’s a judo takedown. If he shoots a double leg, that’s a wrestling move.” While the world was used to the sheer dominance displayed in Khabib Nurmagomedov's bouts, Jones's influence ensured that Makhachev couldn't replicate the same with Volkanovski.

Despite the odds and predictions, Volkanovski showcased an extraordinary display of skill and heart. Although he didn't clinch victory, with Makhachev retaining his title, he showcased a performance that left an indelible mark on the MMA world. Following the bout, Volkanovski was quick to express his belief that he had decoded Islam's game and with a few more rounds, victory would have been his. He proposed a rematch in Abu Dhabi.

Subsequent events saw both fighters moving along their trajectories. Volkanovski cemented another title defense against the formidable Yair Rodriguez and was poised to take time off after hand surgery. Meanwhile, Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira was penciled in for a showdown with Makhachev. However, destiny, ever unpredictable, threw a wrench in the plans.

When Oliveira had to withdraw from UFC 294 on just 12 days' notice, the MMA world held its collective breath. Who was available to step up on such short notice? Who would dare? Enter Volkanovski. The champion from the division below, who had always voiced his hunger for challenges, stepped up to the plate.

With only a handful of days to prepare, Volkanovski now embarks on a journey to enemy turf, battling time zones, unfamiliar climates, and the weight of expectations. Yet, his mission remains unwavering: to demonstrate, once again, why he is rightfully called 'The Great'. In his attempt to achieve what many might deem insurmountable, the stage is set for a bout that promises to be nothing short of explosive. A bout where the fireworks won't just be metaphorical but a vivid reflection of two warriors' burning desire to emerge as the best.



Casey Cartwright



Volk is definitely an absolute beast 💪

Amazing deep dive from Ozed 💯


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