Alexander Volkanovski, a seasoned combatant, knew what he was getting himself into by accepting a last-minute fight with lightweight warrior, Islam Makhachev, at UFC 294. Despite being fully aware of the potential risk and reward involved, his relentless pursuit to enrich his fighting legacy led him to take the plunge. Unfortunately, his eagerness didn’t pay dividends this time, as his stint ended with a brutal knockout defeat in the first round at the hands of Makhachev.
Reflecting on his performance at the post-match press conference, Volkanovski was quick to admit that he might have made a questionable decision. However, he didn’t shy away from taking responsibility for it. “I don’t want to sit there and obviously make excuses. I’m a big believer in preparation, but I back myself, so that’s the decision I made,” he confessed. Taking Makhachev on short notice might not have been the wisest choice, but according to Volkanovski, it was something he needed to do. Despite the widespread speculation about monetary motivations, for him, it was about much more than that.
Even in the face of the heavy defeat, Volkanovski displays an admirable determination to uphold his pledge to defend his featherweight title against Ilia Topuria in January 2024. For him, downtime is a discomfort. “I need to be busy. Again, it’s just I think my purpose obviously now is family and fighting. When I’m not fighting, I don’t feel like I’m ticking all the boxes. I need to be ticking all the boxes. I don’t like wasting time”, he insisted. Despite the setback, Volkanovski appears resolute in his pursuit of his fighting legacy and unending growth.