Everyone, meet Alexander Volkanovski. Alexander Volkanovski, meet everyone. Australia’s greatest ever UFC fighter, the current Featherweight champion, the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC right now. Shall we continue?

A legend of the sport, Volkanovski remains undefeated in the UFC, with the only loss of his career coming as a result of an Australian Fighting Championship in Melbourne 2013, at the hands of Corey Nelson (who is now a crane operator in Sydney, and hopefully never has to buy his own beer at a pub ever again).

In case you’ve missed the memo (or have been under a rock for the last few years), we’ve taken a deep dive into the great man ahead of his appearance in UFC 284.

The name Volkanovski is a famous one in pub-land, just ask any regulars of a sports bar. If there’s one thing we love, it’s seeing our Aussie on the big screen of our local. Strap in, you’re going to need all of this extra info before watching UFC 284 on the big screen, Sunday 12 February.

May we recommend some vocal warm ups, the Aussie Aussie Aussie chants aren’t going to start themselves.


Standing at 168cm and weighing nearly 100kg, Alex Volkanovski was wreaking havoc in the middle for the Warilla Gorillas Rugby League side just over a decade ago.

Most would be surprised at his ‘Featherweight’ status now, back then the Shellharbour local was well known for his stocky shape. Even as a larger presence on the field, Volkanovski was still an athletic force, taking tough runs off his side’s try line, cutting down bigger men with perfect technique.

However, after what most thought was a given, the NRL never came knocking. Instead, Volkanovski tapped into his past as a Greco-Roman Wrestling Junior Champion, and decided on a sport with a touch more violence (debatable, have you seen an NRL game lately?). A few more kilos were shed to get to a more appropriate shape for when he inevitably stepped into the Octagon.

Alexander Volkanovski of Australia celebrates after the UFC 266 event on September 25 2021 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)


Before officially signing with the UFC in 2016, Volkanovski made his way through a number of promotions, making his first appearance in an MMA fight in 2012 against Gerhard Voigt, winning by unanimous decision.

As mentioned earlier, the only loss of his career came at the hands of Sydney-sider, Corey Nelson, who now operates a crane (the story just about writes itself).

Eventually, the UFC couldn’t stay away, and Volkanovski made his debut inside the Octagon against Yusuke Kasuya as an undercard to a fellow Aussies Fight Night headline, Rob Whittaker.

Since then, Volkanovski has been a steam train, taking out wins against notable fighters, like Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. But none more notable, then Max Holloway. Who remembers where they were standing, when Volkanovski took the win against the stalwart of the division, Holloway? The local pub was buzzing, fresh beer was being poured, and the crowd seemed to all come to the same conclusion at once, a new Australian champion was about to begin his reign.

Alexander Volkanovski gets in the zone with an Australian flag behind him ahead of UFC 266 event on September 25 2021 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)


It wasn’t until December 2019, that Volkanovski would get his title chance. The odds were stacked against him, all professional commentators picked Max Holloway to walk away as the champion at UFC 245.

Using the underdog moniker as motivation, Volkanovski came out of the blocks early and surprised the world, no one more than Holloway, who was widely considered the greatest ever Featherweight MMA fighter, holding the title for two and a half years.

The fight was considered Volkanovski’ greatest scalp by far, and he’s remained the champion since. Defending the belt from the likes of Brian Ortega, Chan Sung Jung (The Korean Zombie), and Max Holloway again, not once, but twice. The Aussie has proved time and time again his force inside the cage, becoming the second-longest reigning UFC Featherweight Champion in history.

From the streets of Shellharbour, just south of Wollongong, a Featherweight Champion was born. And us? We couldn’t be happier to have a local legend to cheer for while raising a cold one with our mates.

Alexander Volkanovski celebrates after his win in the UFC featherweight championship fight at UFC 276 (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC).


Volkanovski will face his biggest challenge yet as he faces off against Islam Makhachev at UFC 284 Sunday 12 February on home soil in Perth. Should he win, he’ll hold both the Featherweight and the Lightweight UFC titles, becoming the eighth fighter in history to hold a double.

Makhachev stands 10cm taller than Volkanovski, which was made evident when the two faced off at the press conference in Sydney last week. The height advantage puts Makhachev as the top pick for many MMA commentators, but if there’s something we love more than anything in Australia, it’s an underdog.

Volkanovski went from watching the big fights on the screens at his local pub, to gracing them, and now it’s our turn to watch our Aussie champ in UFC 284. We already can’t wait for an Australian to officially hold two belts, and to let everyone we’ve ever met know about it (coming for you Daniel Cormier fans).

Where can I watch UFC 284 near me? Find your Official Home of UFC location right here.

Find out what other UFC fights are coming up here.