Alex Volkanovski’s Next Fight Will Be The Biggest Of His UFC Career

His redemption arc will be UFC legend.

Image: Getty / ZUFFA

With three losses in his last four UFC assignments, Alexander Volkanovski may need to win his next bout if he wants to remain as one of the elite fighters in the UFC.


The 35-year-old New South Wales, Australia native once reigned as the UFC’s featherweight champion. Volkanovski made five successful title defences before losing the belt to Ilia Topuria in his most recent bout at UFC 298.

Overall, his six title fights in the 145-pound division are next to the most in the history of the UFC. But since his two failed attempts at the UFC lightweight title, Volkanovski has seen his star fade a bit as of late.

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Image: Getty / ZUFFA

At UFC 280, Volkanovski accepted the challenge of Islam Makhachev to fight for the UFC lightweight title. Islam had just won that belt with a submission win over Charles Oliveira and he didn’t waste any time to book his first title defence.

Despite giving up four inches in height to Makhachev, he outstruck the lightweight champion 70-57 in significant strikes landed in their five-round bout at UFC 284. Makhachev ended up winning the fight but Volkanovski earned the respect of the entire MMA community with a gallant performance.

That showing, however, made Volk obsessed about beating Makhachev. With how close their UFC 284 bout was, he asked for a rematch with the thought that with a little adjustment, he could beat Makhachev.

Volkanovski returned to defend his featherweight belt against Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 and won the fight via knockout. Then Volk rematched Islam at UFC 294. This time around, Makhachev dominated and knocked out Alex after just over three minutes.

After the loss, Volkanovski admitted he let his guard down while training for the rematch.

“It was like a little kick up arse for me – I wasn’t disciplined,” Volkanovski told FREESTYLEBENDER. “I’m known for being disciplined all year round, 24/7 and I just wasn’t that time. I was really disappointed. I was more upset with who I was in the previous months leading up to that. To be honest, it made it a little easier because it snapped me out of it. It snapped me out of it. I was drinking every day for like three or four weeks.”

But Volk made another mistake after that. Instead of taking a full break after losing the Islam rematch, Alex agreed to make a quick turnaround and defend his featherweight gold against rising star Ilia Topuria just four months after his KO loss to Makhachev. He got knocked out in a second consecutive fight by Topuria.

With back-to-back knockout losses and three defeats in his last four bouts, you can argue that Alex Volkanovski is in a must-win situation the next time he steps into the UFC Octagon. No, it’s unlikely that his UFC career will be on the line, at least not yet. But as they say, a fighter is only as good as his last bout. 

Volk is one of the best fighters ever at featherweight but his star may be fading with his recent struggles. Because of that, his next UFC assignment could be the biggest fight of his UFC career.