Here is everything you need to know about the Australian UFC fighter Alexander Volkanovski.
|Born||29th September 1988|
|Birthplace||Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia|
|Resides||Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia|
|UFC Record||13-1 (5 KOs)|
|MMA Record||26-2 (13 KOs)|
|Next Fight||Islam Makhachev (Saturday 21st October)|
Alexander Volkanovski has come in to fight Russia’s Islam Makhachev in Abu Dhabi in place of Brazilian challenger Charles Oliviera, who has had to withdraw from their UFC 294 showdown due to injury.
Volkanovski is 15/8 to gain his revenge on the Russian after he was beaten in a unanimous decision when the pair met in Perth for the UFC Lightweight title, which was the Australian’s first defeat since he made his UFC debut in 2016.
Dagestan-born Makhachev goes into the bout with a four-inch height advantage and is 4/9 to come out on top again.
He has lost just one of his 14 UFC contests and has not been in action since his win over Volkanovski in February, which was his 12th successive victory.
Volkanovski was already a talented sportsman before he entered the world of Mixed Martial Arts.
He had earned a national Greco-Roman wrestling title in Australia when he was 12 and then went into rugby league, where he played at a semi-professional level as a front-row forward.
Volkanovski was always an enthusiastic MMA fan and quit rugby in 2011 to take up a career in the sport and he developed a counter-striking style with a powerful right hand.
It was a case of moving down from his rugby-playing weight and, after starting his amateur career at middleweight, he moved down the scale to welterweight, lightweight and then featherweight.
Volkanovski did not stay long in the amateur ranks, he claimed just four wins before he turned professional.
He won two Australian Fighting Championship titles before taking the big step to make his UFC debut in November 2016.
It was a smooth transition as Volkanovski won his first seven UFC fights and that gave him the opportunity to fight American Max Holloway for the Featherweight Championship in Las Vegas in December 2019.
The Australian came out on top on that occasion and then successfully defended his crown against the same opponent eight months later in Abu Dhabi.
Volkanovski has since won four defences, including when he earned the performance of the night at UFC 273 with his fourth-round knockout of Jung Chan-Sung.
There was even time for another fight against Holloway, which again went the distance at UFC 276.
He met his match when he faced Makhachev after moving up to middleweight to fight the Russian, in what was hailed as one of the best fights in the history of the division.
Volkanovski was last in action in Las Vegas in July when he got back to winning ways with a third-round success over Yair Rodriguez.
Alexander Volkanovski’s net worth is estimated to be around $3.5million
The bout will be the headline of the UFC 294 card from Abu Dhabi and will be televised in Britain on TNT Sports.
Alexander Volkanovski’s trainer is Joe Lopez, who has guided him through his MAA career since he was 22.
Lopez is attached to the Freestyle Fighting Gym in Volkanovski’s home town of Wollongong.