Volkanovski has dominated since finding a permanent home at featherweight, ruling over the 145-pound weight class on MMA’s biggest stage with an iron fist. With wins over Chad Mendes and José Aldo, the Australian earned a shot at the belt in 2019.
He made the most of it by narrowly outpointing Max Holloway at UFC 245 to secure his place on the throne, where he’s remained ever since. Volkanovski has maintained his grip on top spot through four defenses.
After immediately running it back with Holloway and falling on the right side of a split decision, “The Great” defeated Brian Ortega in a memorable pay-per-view headliner last September.
While his success was impressive beforehand, 2022 has seen Volkanovski reach new heights with a pair of striking masterclasses against “The Korean Zombie” and Holloway.
His third victory over “Blessed” helped Volkanovski ascend to the #1 spot in the UFC’s pound-for-pound rankings following Kamaru Usman’s defeat in August. With that, Volkanovski sits atop two ladders whilst riding a mighty 22-fight win streak in professional MMA.
Despite, that many still don’t believe that the featherweight king gets the credit and plaudits that he deserves, and that includes Helwani.
Helwani: ‘Volkanovski Is The Most Underrated P4P Fighter In MMA History’
During a Q&A section on an episode of The MMA Hour, host Helwani discussed the reign of Volkanovski and how it’s perceived amongst fans, fighters, and pundits.
Citing the Aussie’s humble and “down to Earth” personality as the reason why, the Canadian journalist labeled Volkanovski as perhaps the most overlooked top fighter in the history of mixed martial arts.
“You wanna talk about arguably the most underrated pound-for-pound best fighter in the history of the sport, that’s Alex Volkanovski,” Helwani said. “You know why people don’t like to talk about him? You know why people are sleeping on him? You know why people are calling him an underdog going into this fight (against Islam Makhachev) even though he’s never lost in the UFC and hasn’t lost in something crazy like 18 fights? Because he doesn’t walk around with the bling, cutting promos, with the fancy clothes and the shades.
“The point is, this guy is as down to Earth, as humble as it gets. But make no mistake about it, he’s one of the best fighters to ever compete in the UFC, to ever lace up those gloves… He’s incredible,” Helwani added.
Helwani also noted the predictions for Volkanovski’s planned lightweight challenge as further evidence that he’s seriously underrated.
After weighing in as the backup fighter for last month’s UFC 280 main event, the featherweight king is expected to serve as the first challenger to the 155-pound reign of Islam Makhachev.
As well as the opening odds having him sat as a sizable underdog for the matchup against the Dagestani, many have doubted the Australian’s capabilities when it comes to dealing with the heavier Makhachev’s wrestling game.
Do you agree with Ariel Helwani? Is Alexander Volkanovski significantly underrated?
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