Alex Volkanovski’s Weight Loss Secret Revealed

Alex Volkanovski’s Weight Loss Secret Revealed

Image: @alexvolkanovski

Australia’s Alex Volkanovski famously shed 26 pounds in less than two weeks to make weight for his short-notice bout against Islam Makhachev at UFC 294.

UFC lightweight champion Makhachev was supposed to defend his belt against Charles Oliveira. But with the Brazilian withdrawing from the fight 11 days before the event, the UFC needed a replacement opponent and Volkanovski was quick to jump in when the fight was offered to him.

RELATED: How Alexander Volkanovski’s Rugby Career Led To Australia’s First UFC Championship

Image: Getty / ZUFFA

After all, Volk nearly defeated Makhachev during their first meeting at UFC 284. The Aussie proved that Islam was far from invincible and he was looking for another opportunity to complete the job. Despite having less than two weeks to prepare he took on the challenge.

But perhaps the more challenging job was to make weight for the fight. When the fight was offered to him, Alex was 26.5 pounds over the lightweight division’s 155-pound limit. With 11 days to do so, Volk worked closely with his dietician Jordan Sullivan.

“You can’t pull something like this off unless you are on top of your training and nutrition year-round,’ said Sullivan via Men’s Health.

“There were some easy post-holiday pounds that came off fast initially but there was still a lot of work to be done. Volkanovski is one of the few who consistently trains and lives the athlete lifestyle all year round, and that is why if there’s a person to go into a world title fight on 12 days notice and pull it off, it’s him.”

In order to achieve weight loss, Volk needed to go on a diet where he needed to cut his carbohydrate intake to 100 grams a day without necessarily dropping his calorie count. According to a study, a diet low in carbohydrates and with a minimal drop in calorie intake for one week will result in weight loss without compromising performance.

The diet worked. But because he was too heavy when he started training, Volkanovski was reportedly still 12 pounds over the lightweight limit with only one day to go before the weigh-ins. While he didn’t detail what he did, Volk definitely went into overdrive as he tipped the scales at 154.5 pounds during the official weigh-in.

At UFC 294, Makhachev went on to dominate Volkanovski in a rather quick fight. Islam out-landed Alex 39-11 in total strikes landed, including 22-4 in significant strikes to record a first-round knockout win over the Aussie and settle once and for all who the better lightweight between the two is. 

There were talks that the drastic weight cut affected Volkanovski’s performance in the fight. However, Sullivan refused to blame it on that.

“Kudos to the GOAT for not only taking this fight on short notice but making sure he did it in the safest way possible,” shared Sullivan. “It takes a special type of individual to take on that physical and mental challenge but there’s a reason Volkanovski is best in the world at this.”

UFC 294 will always be remembered for Volkanovski’s insane weight loss rather than his actual loss to Makhachev. It showed how special a fighter Volkanovski is, not just inside the Octagon but also while preparing for a fight.