Alexander Volkanovski Launches Staunch Defense Of His & Israel Adesanya’s Track Records As Champs: ‘We Wouldn’t Be In The Position We Are Now…’

Former UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski recently responded to the naysayers questioning the supposed burnout affecting both his and Israel Adesanya’s fighting careers, pointing to their stellar records as UFC champions.

“Alexander the Great” suffered a second-round knockout at the hands of Ilia Topuria at UFC 298 in February, marking his first setback as a featherweight. This loss came on the heels of another finish by reigning lightweight champion Islam Makhachev in the first round at UFC 294 last October, making it Volkanovski’s second consecutive KO defeat.

The loss to Topuria concluded his four-year tenure as champion. Volkanovski, one of the UFC’s most active fighters, has participated in nine title bouts over the past five years. However, the Australian is now on a break from the Octagon to focus on his mental health and recuperate.

- Advertisement -

A segment of the MMA community has voiced apprehensions that Volkanovski’s recent defeats stem from his grueling schedule, suggesting that his relentless string of back-to-back fights has led to burnout.

However, “Alexander the Great” rebuffs these claims, insisting that his relentless pace in competition has been a key factor in his and his close friend and City Kickboxing training partner Adesanya’s rise to greatness as champions…

Volkanovski Credits Active Competition for His & Adesanya’s Championship Success

During a recent interview on the FREESTYLEBENDER YouTube channel with Adesanya’s younger brother, Volkanovski addressed critics who doubt their careers.

- Advertisement -

The former featherweight titleholder expressed that he finds “The Last Stylebender’s” reign as middleweight champion deeply inspiring for his own journey.

“Being active is where you’re gonna make your most money. So get active. I learned that from Izzy, he’s got the right form, and I love it. When we talk about our mentality, like myself and Israel Adesanya, people start to say, ‘Oh, you burned yourself out,’ and they try to look at it as a bad thing.

“But we wouldn’t be the champions we were. We wouldn’t be in the position we are now mentally and everything. Our mentality and our mindset, that’s what made us great champions to be able to defend that.”

The 35-year-old Aussie further expressed his gratitude for avoiding extended layoffs from fighting, attributing his legacy as a dominant champion to his relentless activity in the sport.

“That mentality got us, how many times defending champ? … But I was thankful that I was like that for how long I did. I wouldn’t have the appreciation from the people if I weren’t like that, I wouldn’t have the money in the bank like I do, and I wouldn’t be able to look after my family like I’m able to right now if it wasn’t for that.”

“The Last Stylebender” also took a voluntary break after losing his middleweight title to Sean Strickland at UFC 293 last September. Initially, he jokingly suggested that he might not return to the Octagon until 2027.

- Advertisement -

However, Adesanya is poised to challenge reigning middleweight champion Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 305, set to take place on August 17 in Perth, Australia.