Jamal Murray seeks sparring sessions with Alexander Volkanovski: “Gotta Prepare for it mentally, physically, spritualy”

Alexander Volkanovski, the former pound-for-pound king of the UFC, has friendships with superstars outside the sport. Volkanovski is very cordial with Jamal Murray, Shaquille O’Neal, and Cristiano Ronaldo. The UFC featherweight champion is particularly close with the 2023 NBA champion, Murray of the Denver Nuggets.

Murray, fresh from a victory over the Houston Rockets, was asked about Volkanovski in the post-match press conference. Volk, who lost his latest fight to Islam Makhachev via head kick KO at UFC 294, will face Ilia Topuria at UFC 298 in Anaheim, California for his next fight.

Jamal Murray wants to spar with Alexander Volkanovski

In his recent game against the Houston Rockets, Jamal Murray was impressive with a 20-point, 4-rebound 6-assist performance as he ably supported the two-time MVP, Nikola Jokic. At the post-match press conference, Murray was asked about questions unrelated to NBA.

Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie was at the press conference and asked Murray about his attendance at UFC 298 where Volkanovski will be defending his title against Ilia Topuria. UFC 298 is scheduled for February 17, 2024, at the Honda Center in Anaheim and the date coincides with the All-Star break in NBA.

“I’ll try to find a way to see him and yeah we’ll be getting a sparring session,” said Murray, who wishes to meet Volkanovski and have a light sparring session during the All-Star break. When asked about Volkanovski coming back from a brutal KO loss to the best MMA fighter in the world, Murray was confident about the Australian’s chances.

“You gotta prepare for that mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally,” said Murray regarding how Alexander Volkanovski should prepare for his next fight after the devastating loss. Murray found similarities between Volk and his return from injuries and losses in the NBA.

Alexander Volkanovski unable to submit Jamal Murray

Before his disappointing loss to Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 in October 2023, Volkanovski had a friendly grappling session with close friend Jamal Murray, the NBA Guard. Their friendship began when Murray visited Volkanovski’s home country, Australia.

The grappling session was for one minute, and the challenge was for Volk to submit Murray. On the other hand, the onus on Murray was to survive the full one minute. Volkanovski managed to submit Murray with an arm-triangle choke, but Murray just crossed the one-minute mark by then.

With his splendid featherweight resume that holds victories over Max Holloway, Jose Aldo, The Korean Zombie, Brian Ortega, and Yair Rodriguez, ‘The Great’ has etched his name as one of the greats of the sport.

Former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling is moving up to featherweight which could offer a new matchup for Volkanovski. However, Volkanovski wants Sterling to defeat Holloway first to contend for the featherweight title.

What do you think of the friendship between Alexander Volkanovski and Jamal Murray? Leave your thoughts below!


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