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Alexander Volkanovski warns of hazards of Paddy Pimblett’s extreme weight cuts: ‘It’s terrible for you’

UFC 276 Weigh-in
Alexander Volkanovski
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Alexander Volkanovski knows all about dramatic weight loss.

The UFC champion was once a rugby league player who tipped the scales at over 200 pounds, a far cry from the 145-pound limit he currently competes at as the No. 1 featherweight in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings and the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

In an interview with The AllStar, Volkanovski was asked for his opinion on another UFC star whose weight has been a popular topic of conversation, lightweight competitor Paddy Pimblett, who has drawn attention and comments for being noticeably larger between fights.

“I know the science and I don’t just know that, I used to do that,” Volkanovski said (h/t MMA Mania). “Back in the days when I would go and people see me win the PXC world title at featherweight, I’d go back to Thailand not even two weeks later and people are looking at me like, ‘How do you look like that? You were just here. What? It doesn’t make sense.’

“I used to weigh in at 65.8 [kilograms], 145 [pounds], and within the week ... so next weekend, 86 kilograms. That’s over 185 [pounds], and you used to see that, well over — that’s almost 190. I used to go from 145 to 190 [pounds] in one week. It’s not healthy. It’s terrible for you. It blows my mind how his head just balloons like that. It’s quite funny.”

For the most part, Pimblett has taken any criticism regarding his weight in stride. Ahead of his most recent fight at UFC London in July, the Englishman mooned onlookers at the event’s official weigh-ins and sent a message to his detractors.

“For everyone that tried to fat shame me and said I’d miss weight or f****** pull out, kiss my ass,” Pimblett said.

Volkanovski believes that it’s possible that some of the comments directed at Pimblett are meant to be constructive.

“Look, honestly, I hear about people fat shaming him and all that type of stuff, yeah, some people would be,” Volkanovski said. “But I think there’s a lot of people that probably care for his health as well, because it ain’t healthy. I know because I’ve been in the same position.”

Elaborating more on his own weight-management misadventures, Volkanovski explained how hazardous it was to his health to not properly manage his diet. He added that he was also aware of what people were saying about him in his heavier days, and the words definitely had an effect on him.

“You definitely feel like crap,” Volkanovski said. “I remember because I would even have a couple of days, because I would eat so silly straight afterwards, because I’ve been over here, I would fluctuate so much, I would fluctuate a lot quicker too. I would hold a lot more water because I was always doing this.

“Two days after a fight, I’d be on a plane and all the water — because you know all the water goes to your ankles in that — I mean, I couldn’t even put my shoes on,” Volkanovski continued. “My legs would [swell up]. It’s very dangerous. That’s actually dangerous too, so I need to wear the big socks and that’s not good enough because I stretched them f****** right out. I used to be pretty crazy with it, but it’s not healthy, man.

“Not only do you feel s***, obviously you look s*** and it’s a little bit embarrassing hearing that too. This ain’t a shot at Paddy Pimblett, this is me talking about my experience.”

Watch Volkanovski’s full interview with The AllStar here:

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