“I’m Struggling a Little Bit”- Heartbreaking Confession From Alexander Volkanovski Has Jorge Masvidal, Dominick Cruz, and UFC World Get Emotional after UFC 294

Published 10/22/2023, 3:55 AM EDT

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Alexander Volkanovski took on Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 as a short-notice replacement for Charles Oliveira. ‘Do Bronx’ suffered a cut above his eye during training camp for the fight and had to step away from his bout against Makhachev. Volkanovski accepted the fight, looking to add another belt to his collection. He had faced Makhachev previously at UFC 284 where he lost a decision that was considered controversial by MMA fans.

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However, this time around, Makhachev left no doubt as he finished Volkanovski with a head kick in the very first round. During the post-fight press conference, an emotional Volkanovski revealed his thoughts behind taking the short notice fight. He also opened up about the struggles he faces while not fighting or training. And with the video being shared online, other members of the UFC community like Dominick Cruz and Jorge Masvidal have shown their support for ‘The Great’.

Alexander Volkanovski and his raw emotions after UFC 294 find support from fans and UFC fighters

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Alexander Volkanovski was aiming to become ‘champ-champ’ once again at UFC 294. However, the lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev, proved to be too much for the Australian to handle. Makhachev controlled the fight and landed a devastating head kick in the first round and followed up with vicious ground and pound. The fight ended with Makhachev retaining his title.

After the fight, an emotional Volkanovski spoke to the press about the struggles he faces when he is not preparing for a fight. He revealed, “Obviously I’m struggling a little bit not fighting, doing my head in.” He also expressed how difficult it is for athletes to cope when they’re not actively engaged in their sport and noted that he needed a fight to keep himself occupied.

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He then further stated that he wanted to keep busy. According to him, “I need to be keeping busy, I need to be in camp otherwise I’m gonna do my head in.” The honest statements from Volkanovski drew support from fans and UFC fighters. Dominick Cruz, and Jorge Masvidal showed their support and understanding for Volkanovski’s struggles amidst the comments by fans.

 

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Here’s how the MMA community reacted:

Dominick Cruz emphasized the value of finding happiness beyond belts and titles.

Greatest moment in life-was realizing I don’t need a belt to be happy.-Thanks “injuries” that happened FOR me, not TO me.

Jorge Masvidal acknowledged Volkanovski as a genuine fighter.

Real fighter, real as it gets @alexvolkanovski hats off bro

Luke Barnatt, former UFC middleweight, highlighted the struggle to discover purpose beyond the fight game.

This struggle is real… need to gain purpose outside the fight game

And fans also thanked Volkanovski for his honesty and willingness to take such a difficult fight on short-notice.

Credit to Volk for being open and honest about the struggle. And also for stepping up and taking the fight

Volk is very authentic and honorable. He deserves so much props for taking on the hardest fight possible on short notice. We appreciate you Volk.

Much respect to Volk, he’s still one of the best

While others showed concern for his mental health.

Hope Volk finds purpose by the time he retires. Hope he finds something other than fighting that fulfils him. Nobody wants someone as great as him spiral if they’re not fighting.

Fighters and fans have responded to Alexander Volkanovski’s candid discussion about his mental health struggles outside of fighting. They admire his authenticity and respect his willingness to talk openly about these challenges. Despite losing to Makhachev, Volkanovski still remains the featherweight champion, and fans will be waiting to see what’s next for ‘The Great’.

Volkanovski has a featherweight contender waiting for his return

Alexander Volkanovski’s willingness to step into the Octagon against Islam Makhachev on short notice deserves recognition. However, after this lightweight endeavor, Volkanovski will be looking to shift his focus back to taking on the top contenders in the featherweight division.

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Volkanovski has previously expressed his intention to face Ilia Topuria. Topuria boasts an impressive undefeated record of 14-0, making his case for a title shot in the division. He’s a versatile fighter known for finishing his fights, with only two of his bouts reaching a decision. Topuria has secured four knockouts and eight submissions in his MMA career, showcasing a well-rounded skill set.

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At 26 years old, Topuria is a rising star in the division, and he has claimed he is the future of the division. Volkanovski’s return to the featherweight division and the potential matchup with Topuria present an intriguing prospect for both fighters and fans alike.

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Do you think Alexander Volkanovski should fight Illia Topuria next? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Written by:

Dushyant Patni

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Dushyant Patni is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Dushyant’s love for Mixed Martial Arts began at the very young age of fourteen, something that inspired him to take up the sport himself. He has worked as a writer and an editor across various organizations before putting his skills to use at ES.
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Edited by:

Yeswanth Praveen

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