Alexander Volkanovski's coach Joe Lopez recently revealed an interesting story about 'The Great' during the initial days of his career.
UFC pound-for-pound king and featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski is all set to make his debut as a lightweight as he has been signed as the title contender for Islam Makahchev, who recently won the title against Charles Oliveira at UFC 280.
Ahead of their upcoming fight, Volkanovski's coach Jon Lopez appeared in an interview with Submission Radio and shared his take on the upcoming fight. While discussing the fight, the coach also recalled an incident involving 'The Great' during his initial years of training. The coach revealed that the Kiwi fighter once submitted a heavyweight during an open sparring session.
Recalling the incident, the coach said:
"We had an open sparring session and he [Volkanovski] came to the open sparring session and I always remember, I had a heavyweight that had a couple of fights, and there was a young heavyweight from the area who, you know, had, I think 5-0 record. And, you know, was looking for... you know, he was the next best thing. And I remember I was taping the gloves up on my heavyweight, and Alex [Volkanovski] was already gloved up, and the other guy's coach threw him into the cage... I was trying to run the cage to stop it but this spar had started."
He further continued by saying:
"I wanted to have the experienced guys to have a go first before I put Alex in. Because it was his [Volkanovski] first spar, you know. And next minute Alex [Volkanovski] has submitted this guy."
Check out the interview below:
Alexander Volkanovski speaks about his preparedness for upcoming title fight
Alexander Volkanovski has expressed confidence in his ability to challenge Islam Makhachev for the lightweight championship title. The Australian MMA artist made the statement in a recently uploaded video on Israel Adesanya's YouTube channel.
Speaking of his preparedness, 'The Great' said:
"Everyone says that and I mean underdog and all that but I do, you know, that's them, challenges and being the being the underdog and proving the doubt. And all that type of stuff, you know. I won't let it really get to me but I let it get to me enough where I'd be like, all right I' gonna train that a little bit hard. I'm going to shut these guys up and I'm going to go out there and do it and it makes me want them fights... I'm twice as strong as I was, you know what I mean, my defense is just on point, I'm like a like an absolute brick wall.""
Check out Alexander Volkanovski's interview below [1:42 mark]: