Following an emotional discussion at the UFC 294 press conference, Alexander Volkanovski’s mental well-being came into question. His mental state became a focus of concern following his first-round knockout loss to Islam Makhachev. Few days after the fight, Volkanovski discussed his mindset on his YouTube channel. He conceded that the defeat was a heavy blow to him. However, he asserted that overall, he was in a good mental state. Volkanovski was keen for people to know that despite appearing very upset, he was okay. He reminded people that he had just come off a defeat that was painful to him, especially considering the impact on his legacy.
In the wake of his loss, Volkanovski expressed his desire for a quick return, aiming for the UFC’s January pay-per-view event for his next appearance in the Octagon. Despite his fighting career, he shared how he continues to be a dedicated family man. Sometimes, his profession and personal life intermingled for him, he explained. The pressure on him was high because he knew he had to maximize his prime years as his days were limited. He voiced his sentiment that his family life, with his wife and their lovely family, was doing great. However, he was grappling with the challenges of being a high-performance athlete and not able to satisfy these aspirations, particularly in the past three months.
Volkanovski also conceded that his hurried acceptance of the rematch against Makhachev might have adversely impacted his performance. He lacked the usual level of preparation, especially sparring rounds. The aftermath of UFC 294 saw Volkanovski at his most vulnerable. However, he perceives this vulnerability as a proactive step for raising awareness about mental health. Especially, he felt it was crucial for the sports community. Volkanovski expressed that despite him doing well, he was glad his raw emotions were visible to others. It highlighted the importance of mental health discussions among everyone, not just athletes and fighters.