Alexander Volkanovski is as good as it gets at this MMA thing.
There’s been a small handful of opponents that have managed to find success against the reigning UFC featherweight champion. Even in such cases, only once has Volkanovski been defeated in his last 24 bouts.
“The Great” returned to the win column with yet another masterful 145-pound title defense against Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 this past weekend. Volkanovski’s third-round ground and pound TKO of the Mexican interim titlist was his fifth time successfully holding his throne. Once again displaying his overall well-roundedness to stellar degrees, Volkanovksi has received heaps of praise from his peers. For top lightweight contender Michael Chandler, “Iron” feels there’s simply no better fighter than featherweight’s finest at present.
“Is Alexander Volkanovski unbeatable?” Chandler asked on his YouTube channel. “Alexander ‘The Great’ is just that. I break it down to three C’s why I think Alexander Volkanovski is the most unbeatable — not just unbeatable champion, but the most unbeatable guy in the entire world. There’s a reason why he’s the pound-for-pound No. 1.
“I break it down to three C’s. Completeness, cardio, and composure. He is the most complete fighter that we have on the roster in the UFC. The most complete fighter in the entire world. The ability to be at home and be two to three to four steps ahead of his opponents in every single position in a fight. On the feet, navigating and negotiating the distance. Navigating and negotiating the striking. His plethora of strikes that he has. Very basic. He doesn’t try to get crazy out of his comfort zone even with how dominant he has been.”
At 145 pounds, Volkanovski literally has been unbeatable (16-0, 26-2 overall). However, his perfect run in the UFC came to an end this past February when seeking dual-division champion status by moving up to lightweight.
Volkanovski challenged newly-minted champion Islam Makhachev in the promotion’s return to Volkanovski’s home country, Australia. The pair of pound-for-pound greats put on an epic fight that won’t soon be forgotten. Ultimately, Makhachev got the last laugh, earning his first title defense via a closely-contested unanimous decision. The fight was so good and Volkanovski did so well that many thought he deserved the nod or performed well enough to remain the best in the world above Makhachev. Despite the weight change, Volkanovski’s overall game primarily stayed the same, which Chandler credits him for.
“He doesn’t try to get out of what makes him him,” Chandler said. “Hard punches, basic punches, basic striking. Both with his hands and with his feet, he even throws in elbows and knees when he so chooses. Up against the cage, the grappling exchanges up, offense and defense. There’s not a featherweight alive that he can’t take down.
“As we saw, there might not be a lightweight in the world he can’t take down since he took down Islam Makhachev in their fight. Which was a very closely contested fight. I know he wants that fight and in my honest opinion, he might be the guy who might get that title shot.”
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He did it.
Zuck in good company...
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You never know.
Came down to the lobby to find a homeless guy shadow boxing that I thought was my opponent— Tyson Nam (@TysonNam) July 11, 2023
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Pretty hard to disagree with Chandler... unless you’re Makhachev.
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