"Why does a champion have to take all the risks?" - Alexander Volkanovski reacts to criticism thrown at Israel Adesanya for UFC 276 fight

Alexander Volkanovski (left) and Israel Adesanya(right) Images Courtesy: @alexvolkanovski and @stylebender on Instagram]
Alexander Volkanovski (left) and Israel Adesanya(right) Images Courtesy: @alexvolkanovski and @stylebender on Instagram]

Alexander Volkanovski has backed Israel Adesanya in the wake of UFC 276 criticisms.

Though 'The Last Stylebender' emerged victorious over Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision, the middleweight title defense was jeered by certain people who tuned in.

Volanovski spoke with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour and covered several subjects. The UFC featherweight champion spoke about the comprehensiveness of his recent performance, if he's now the pound-for-pound number one fighter in the UFC, and more.

In regards to rhetoric about Adesanya's performance being more on the boring side and if that's unfair, Alexander Volkanovski said:

"Of course it is, man. Like it's going to happen every time. Every time you have tough fights. Look the thing is, people need to understand when someone only has a puncher's chance and that is all they're looking for, come on. Why does a champion have to take all of the risk? Why does he have to come forward?"

He added:

"When he knows someone is like waiting for a big shot. The person, the challenger...And I'm not taking a shot at Cannonier but I think they need to make something happen. I don't think it's up to the champ to make something happen. With Max, Max is going to try and make something happen. Same as (Brian) Ortega, same as '(Korean) Zombie'."

Watch the interview/ video below:


The two UFC champions have spent time training together in the past at City Kickboxing. Both Volkanovski and Adesanya came out victorious in that same UFC 276 event in the co-headliner and headlining spots, respectively.

Alexander Volkanovski's future prospects

'The Great' won his trilogy bout over Max Holloway and cleanly swept the series on July 2.

Alexander Volkanovski won the initial fight via unanimous decision at UFC 245 and the second fight via split decision at UFC 251. He then got the win by way of unanimous decision once more at UFC 276.


The featherweight great is at a point where he is starting to eye championship accolades in other weight categories.

The vacant lightweight world championship fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 in October is very much piquing Alexander Volkanovski's interest.

Volkanovski's overall mixed martial arts record currently stands at 25-1 and is riding a 22 fight win streak. 'The Great' holds significant victories over Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo, the aforementioned Holloway, Brian Ortega, and 'Korean Zombie' to name a few.

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Edited by Aditya Singh