Alexander Volkanovski Recalls Bringing In A Sambo Wrestler Just To Prove He Didn’t Need His Help

Alexander Volkanovski recalls bringing a Sambo wrestler to camp just to prove he didn't need his help after being arrogant.

Alexander Volkanovski
Credit Alexander Volkanovski on Instagram

Alexander Volkanovski recalls a tense situation in his training camp for Islam Makhachev. 

UFC 284 was a great event held in Perth, Australia. The main event saw two of the best fighters in the UFC pitted against each other. UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski took on lightweight champion Islam Makhachev in a higher-weight division with the hopes of holding two UFC belts. Unfortunately for him, Makhachev was named the winner after five rounds although some fans saw it going the over way. One thing that impressed many was the smaller Volkanovski’s ability to hold his own against the wresting heavy Makhachev.

Makhachev is known for his Sambo-style wrestling. He, much like many of his training partners from Dagestan, Russia excel on the ground. Their style of grappling is much different than that seen around the world and Volkanovski knew this going into the fight. He recalls bringing in a Sambo specialist to training camp but did not hit it off with the man. 

Alexander Volkanovski had to show his Sambo expert that his service would not be needed

Many times fighters will go into camp with outside help. They usually have their training partners and coaches but will bring in specialists if there is a need for it. Volkanovski spoke to Mark Bouris on YouTube about how bringing in a Sambo fighter to camp didn’t work out as planned. 

“We even brought in a Sambo guy to come in just to give us that look as we just wanted to get as many looks as we can. I think he’s medaled somewhere in the Eastern European bloc, medaled in the Sanbo Worlds, or something like that. So someone brought his name up,” he said. “They hit him up and then he was like, ‘He’s gonna need it.’ You know, all these guys do is eat sleep and pray, as in, I’ve got no chance. Already I’m like who is this guy? I wasn’t very happy with the way that process was, the way he went about it just fired me up a little bit. So he ended up coming in and then it didn’t end well for him anyway. It was just grappling and wrestling, I’m usually pretty gentle and all that, but I didn’t go as gentle as I would. So he saw that pretty quick. Everyone just showed him why we didn’t need him anyway, so I’ll leave it at that.”

Volkanovski is looking for a rematch with Makhachev, but due to the upcoming schedules of both and the fact that he is needed in the featherweight division that fight might have to wait. There is interim featherweight champion Yair Rodriguez waiting to take on the champion and it seems that may be the way the UFC heads next. 

Published on February 23, 2023 at 10:37 am
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