UFC 298: Alexander Volkanovski Admits Suffering Concussion From Islam Makhachev’s KO as He Gives Away Health Update Before Ilia Topuria Fight

Published 02/06/2024, 5:52 PM EST

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UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has opened as only a moderate favorite to win his upcoming UFC 298 bout against Ilia Topuria. This is almost shocking given that the Australian is considered one of the greatest featherweights in UFC history and his opponent is barely three years into his UFC career and hasn’t fought anyone in the top five yet.

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While Topuria is undefeated and supremely confident of victory, he has not yet faced anyone as good as ‘Volk’, a fact that the Aussie keeps reminding ‘El Matador’ of. The main reason behind the betting odds being what they are is probably the fact that he is coming off a brutal loss (his first in the UFC) at the hands of Islam Makhachev. ‘Volk’ revealed what effect that loss had on his overall well-being.

Alexander Volkanovski reveals Makhachev KO concussed him

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Alexander Volkanovski went on teammate Israel Adesanya‘s YouTube channel and spoke to ‘Izzy’s brother, David, about how he was coping with his KO loss last year. ‘Volk’ moved up a weight class and met the lightweight champion Makhachev at UFC 294 last month to rematch their thrilling UFC 284 bout. The Dagestani caught Volkanovski with a devastating head kick in the first round. Volkanovski said that he had recovered well after the knockout and had followed all the concussion protocols.

“Yeah, all good. Like, so I’m lucky enough to have a great team behind me that, they’ve dealt with lots of concussions through the rugby league and… we tried to follow UFC protocols. And they did a great job… We had more than enough time,” Volkanovski said.

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The featherweight champion revealed that this was the first time he had been concussed in his life but had recovered well due to the efforts of his team, who had vetoed the Australian’s wish to fight in January.

“Obviously January, we could have done but I mean it would have been me rushing into camp which we didn’t want to do… because I did have like, a concussion which messes with the head. By the way I’ve never had a concussion before so I’m lucky… Yeah, so it does mess with your head [and it] weakens a bit,” ‘Alexander The Great’ added. He also spoke about one important factor that may have led to the loss.

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‘Volk’ reveals he drank heavily in the lead-up to UFC 294 fight

Alexander Volkanovski took the UFC 294 rematch against Makhachev on less than two weeks’ notice after Charles Oliveira pulled out due to an injury. The Australian told David Adesanya that he had not been disciplined, as he usually was, in the run-up to the Makhachev fight. ‘Volk’ revealed that he had been drinking every day for a month before facing the Dagestani, something he had never done before.

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“I’m known for being disciplined, professional all year round, 24/7. And I just wasn’t that time… Like I was drinking every day of, for three, four weeks. That’s unheard of for me every day. I’ve never ever done that,” he said. However, Volkanovski asserted that he was preparing well for Topuria, whom he promised to humble in their upcoming UFC 298 clash in less than two weeks.

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Written by:

Kanishk Thakur

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One take at a time

Hi, I am Kanishk and I am a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. I love telling the stories of these magnificent fighters and this wildly unpredictable sport that is so frustrating and yet so joyous at the same time. I never really used to watch MMA, thinking it too crude or brutal a sport to deserve respect.
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Edited by:

Gokul Pillai

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