For the first time since becoming the UFC featherweight champion, Max Holloway was dethroned in his home state of Hawaii. The fighter who took down the champion was Alexander Volkanovski, an unheralded fighter who had only won five out of his nine fights inside the Octagon going into this fight against Holloway. In fact, many fans thought it would be a mistake for him to even have fought Holloway on the main card of one of the biggest UFC events ever held in Hawaii.
Early Career & MMA Debut
Alexander Volkanovski was born in New Zealand but raised in Australia. He has been a professional mixed martial artist since 2014, with his first win coming over George Tinsley. His MMA debut was an impressive one, and he hasn’t looked back since, taking on tough opponents and quickly rising up the ranks. In just two years of being a pro fighter, he’s amassed a record of 12-1, with his lone loss coming at the hands of Jeremy Kennedy in 2016. The following year, he’d make it to the main event of UFC Auckland against veteran Dennis Bermudez. The fight would end with a unanimous decision victory for Volkanovski, setting him up for bigger fights to come.
The second round of 2018 saw him take on former champion Jose Aldo in what many considered to be a classic striker vs grappler matchup. It would be Alexander who ended up winning by knockout in the third round after landing devastating strikes from Aldo’s guard that rendered him unconscious.
Rise to Glory
Alexander Volkanovski is a 26-year-old fighter from New Zealand. Born in Australia, he moved to New Zealand at age 13 and began training in Muay Thai, kickboxing, and wrestling. He started boxing after watching the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In his MMA career, he has won 11 of his 12 fights by stoppage (10 TKOs/TQOs and one submission). His most notable wins are over Ricardo Lamas and Jeremy Kennedy. He is currently undefeated with a record of 20-0 with 10 wins coming by KO or TKO. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight division has been dominated by Conor McGregor for years now with no real challengers stepping up to offer any kind of resistance.
Criticism & Lack of Recognition
Alexander Volkanovski has been a dominant force in the featherweight division for as long as he’s been with the UFC. He won his first fight back in 2014 and since then he’s gone 10-0, finishing eight of those fights by KO/TKO. For years, he was overlooked by fans and media alike despite being one of the best fighters in his weight class. Sure, people would often talk about him but it wasn’t until his recent two consecutive knockouts against Andre Fili and Shane Burgos that people started to really recognize how good he is. With just a few more wins, it’s easy to see that this young man will be getting a title shot sooner rather than later.
Still Pushing Forward
If you want to find out about an athlete’s mentality, what better place to look than social media? For example, when I was scrolling through my Twitter feed and came across a tweet by featherweight fighter, Alex Volkanovski. He tweeted I’m still pushing forward. It may sound cliche to some people but it is inspiring to me. His tweet reminded me that no matter how hard things get we should never give up on ourselves or our dreams. Even if we are down in a fight or life is throwing us curveballs, we should never stop trying. It might not be easy but in the end it will all be worth it because as long as we keep pushing forward, every obstacle will eventually fall away from our path.
UFC Fight Night 129 Performance – KO Win over Shane Young in 63 Seconds!
With a 63 second knockout win over Shane Young in his featherweight debut, Alexander The Great Volkanovski (18-1) has made an emphatic statement that he is a force to be reckoned with in the featherweight division. With a resume of 18 wins and only 1 loss, it’s hard to argue against that statement. After achieving victory over the #6 ranked featherweight contender in just 63 seconds, there is no question that this Kiwi born fighter is destined for greatness in his new weight class.
Future Plans for Success in the Featherweight Division
With the featherweight division being so competitive, it is important that Volkanovski stays active and fights as often as possible. That way, he can continue to build momentum, a win streak and gain more recognition in the division. If Volkanovski gets injured or takes a break for any reason, he should take every opportunity to fight in other organizations until he is healthy enough to get back into action. This will allow him to stay sharp and keep his skills up during his downtime from injury.