Alexander Volkanovski Immediately Regrets Opening Up About ‘Drinking Everyday for Weeks’ Before Islam Makhachev Loss at UFC 294

Published 02/07/2024, 12:30 AM EST

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Alexander Volkanovski has only lost two bouts in his recent history. Lightweight champion Islam Makhachev enhanced his legacy by handing a pair of decisive losses to the UFC Featherweight champion. But the second time they fought, Volkanovski only signed up for the fight about 11 days before it happened. Many believe that the loss was inevitable, but how was ‘Volk’ preparing for it?

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Alexander Volkanovski was in a tough place before fighting Makhachev for the second time. He wasn’t in a camp, and he had just gone through a surgery that put him in a six-week rehab. All in all, his mental and physical space wasn’t the greatest. And it was then that perhaps his drinking became almost “unheard of”. 

Alexander Volkanovski perhaps wasn’t fully himself

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Being an athlete at the level of Alexander Volkanovski takes a lot of maintenance. Sometimes, it can have a toll on the fighter’s mind and Volkanovski has been open about his struggles with mental health. He believed that he needed to stay around his family and keep working on his skills if he was going to keep his head straight. In a recent interview with David Adesanya, ‘The Great’ talked about his condition leading up to the fight. “I was drinking every day for like three-four weeks like honestly like I don’t even know if I’ve got that like that’s unheard of for me like every day like i’ I’ve never ever done that…,” said the UFC champion.

The featherweight champ was clearly emotional after his shocking loss at UFC 294. It wasn’t the greatest mental space either, since being out of action had taken a toll on the fighter, leaving him aimless for the time being.

Even Volkanovski’s wife and friends seemed a bit surprised with the way things were going. “I was just drinking at the house really so like don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t like getting blind drunk and I’m not like this aggressive, abusive father, you know it’s not like that . . .but I mean like little jokes around house, even Emma’s like ‘Oh again?,” revealed the Australian.

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Thankfully, that phase ended eventually with ‘The Great’ getting back into camp and preparing for his fights as usual. Now, he’s about to face Ilia Topuria at UFC 298 for his featherweight title.

Is Topuria the challenge everyone expects him to be for ‘Volk’?

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Ilia Topuria has made it clear that he’s going to give Volkanovski a run for his money. ‘The Great’ commented on the confidence that Topuria has shown in press conferences and interviews. He noted how everyone is riding the ‘El Matador’ hype train, but he’s going to “humble” him for good.

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Volkanovski knows he’s an experienced champion and while Topuria is an undefeated fighter of great range, he wants to make sure that the next time they’re in a press conference, Topuria chooses his words more wisely. Volkanovski believes that the championship fight has to be earned and the title itself has to be earned too and he’s put in the work to do that. Topuria only entered the UFC in 2020 and ‘Volk’ became champion in 2019. Perhaps it’s too soon for him to take him down. However, maybe with his sheer talent, he still has a fair chance.

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Nevertheless, one thing is for sure. The featherweight champion won’t underestimate his opponent and resort to his old ways as he prepares optimally for the title fight. What do you make of Volkanovski’s revelations? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Prit Chauhan

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One take at a time

I'm Prit Chauhan, and I'm a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. I've been in the writing business for three years, covering areas like mass media marketing, and even tried my hand at fiction. My experience includes research work at the University of California, Berkeley, which helps me spin fact-based stories about the world of Mixed Martial Arts effortlessly.
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Edited by:

Amal Joyce

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