Alexander Volkanovski Discloses Drinking Habit Going into Islam Makhachev Rematch

February 8, 2024
Alexander Volkanovski claims he was drinking alcohol every day leading up to his rematch against Islam Makhachev this past October.

Volkanovski (26-3) was coming off a successful title defense against Yair Rodriguez in July and recovering from a hand surgery when the otherwise disciplined featherweight champ developed a drinking habit. When Volkanovski received the call to replace Charles Oliveira on 12 days’ notice against Makhachev, the temptation to correct his UFC 284 decision loss against the lightweight champ was highly enticing.

While “The Great” went on to suffer a Round 1 head kick knockout, it’s the lack of discipline in the months prior that bothers him more than the loss.

“It was like a little kick up the arse for me – I wasn’t disciplined,” the Australian said on his teammate Israel Adesanya’s YouTube channel. “I’m known for being disciplined all year round, 24/7, and I just wasn’t that time. I was really disappointed. I was more upset with who I was in the previous months leading up to that. To be honest, it made it a little easier because it snapped me out of it. It snapped me out of it. I was drinking every day for like three or four weeks.”

“Honestly, that’s unheard of for me. Like [drinking] every day. I’ve never, ever done that. But I was like, ‘Ah, I’m not training much,’ and the surgery and just trying to help around the house I was like, ‘All right, I’ll have a couple of drinks here, they’ll go down good,’ you know what I mean? It was going down too good. Every day I went to cans with the fam and come back and even then I was like, ‘Man, this has to stop.’ I was saying that even the day before I got the call. I was [183 pounds] that day. I went to my strength and conditioning coach, and we did some tests and I stood on the scale, and I was 83 [kilograms]. All the boys in the gym were laughing. I’ve never been that heavy.

“I was like, ‘Let’s do it, I need to snap out of this little rut that I’m in’. This is exciting, this is a challenge, and this is something I need right now. So, I was just a little disappointed that time. Losing is always going to suck, but you lose to a fighter like Islam, it’s OK. I know I can beat him. I’ve proven that, but he caught me. All credit to him. I’m not taking anything away from him. He set up that kick and there’s not much I can say. I was just disappointed with the guy I was leading into that.”

Volkanovski will look to defend his strap against undefeated Spanish standout Ilia Topuria (14-0) in the main event at UFC 298 on Feb. 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.


More news