Volkanovski Details Nasty Health Issues Incurred From Weight Cutting
By all indications, Alex Volkanovski has his weight management and cutting dialled in these days. After all, the Australian star has won 18 straight fights and took the UFC’s featherweight title from the renowned Max Holloway last December at UFC 245. But, evidently, that wasn’t always the case.
If you haven’t followed Volkanovski over recent years, you may not know that the City Kickboxing fighter used to be a professional rugby player. Not only that, but Volkanovski, who is just 5’6 tall, used to weigh over 200 pounds.
While in the US supporting his teammate Israel Adesanya at UFC 248, Volkanovski appeared on Joe Rogan’s podcast, where he reflected on his transition into jiu-jitsu and MMA and when he realised he was going to need to drop down in weight (as transcribed by BJ Penn.com).
“I remember doing that jiu-jitsu comp, I was stood on the podium and getting gold, so I was on the first podium, they’re on the second and third and they’re still taller than me,” Volkanovski said while laughing. “So that’s why now I fight at featherweight.
“I’m used to footie players, big, front-rowers, and fighting at middleweight, and all these different divisions. Now I look at these featherweights, they’re puny compared to what I’m used to.”
During the show however, the 31-year-old admitted that early on into his MMA career, he didn’t know how to cut weight properly. After all, there’s a big difference between losing weight on account of regular training, and then cutting a specific amount of weight for a fight.
“Obviously dieting is absolutely key. Even now, when I train so hard, if you’re not dieting well, the weight won’t come off.
“Starting early, I didn’t know much. I don’t know what I know now having dieticians, I was never doing that. I literally ate next to nothing. I would train a lot, I was training rugby league, fighting, training and then concrete [work]. And when I was getting close to fights, I was eating next to nothing.”
As a result, Volkanovski incurred some pretty nasty health issues.
“[I had] staph infections all the time. It’s crucial, diet. The science to it all. Now it’s an absolute game-changer…I had to miss out on fights due to bad staph infections, MRSA, and all that type of [stuff].”
So, when you consider how Volkanovski has performed through his UFC run, obviously he’s come a long way in his weight cutting regiment. The 31 year old is expected to defend his featherweight title against Holloway in an immediate rematch, in the UFC 251 main event, which is set to go down on June 6th in Perth, Australia.
How do you see the rematch between Alex Volkanovski and Max Holloway going?