UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski recently showcased his grappling prowess, but it wasn’t against an MMA fighter. Instead, he had a friendly grappling session with an NBA champion.
Jamal Murray, the point guard for the Denver Nuggets, is a close friend of Volkanovski. Despite a considerable disparity in height and weight, the two engaged in a playful grappling exchange.
Volkanovski forces Jamal Murray to tap out
Jamal Murray challenged Alexander Volkanovski to secure a submission in under 60 seconds. Standing at an imposing 6’4″ and weighing more than 200 pounds, Murray confidently declared his resilience. He vowed not to tap into a submission within a minute.
Volkanovski accepted the challenge and showcased his grappling expertise by locking in a guillotine choke just before the 60-second mark. Murray tapped out, but The Great had high praise for the NBA star for lasting a minute. Furthermore, he declared victory for Murray, stating that he couldn’t submit him in under a minute.
The grappling session continued after a short break. Volkanovski managed to secure multiple submissions against the NBA champion. Despite evident exhaustion, Murray expressed his determination to come back stronger the next day.
Volkanovski is currently on a training break following his UFC 290 victory over Yair Rodriguez at International Fight Week 2023. The Aussie fighter is expected to resume full training soon. Potential matchups for him include bouts with featherweight contenders like Ilia Topuria or a rematch with lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.
Update on Volkanovski’s next bout
UFC CEO Dana White has publicly endorsed Alexander Volkanovski’s autonomy in selecting future opponents. This is another instance of White applauding the champion’s skills and supporting his decision-making.
One potential bout is a rematch with lightweight champion Islam Makhachev. Despite the controversy surrounding their first fight, both fighters have committed to a rematch, with the possibility of the event taking place in early 2024. Makhachev is scheduled to face Charles Oliveira in another rematch at UFC 294.
Moreover, Volkanovski has surprisingly called out rising contender Ilia Topuria, as The Spaniard recently defeated Josh Emmett. The Great even engaged in a confrontation with the Spaniard outside the cage. It remains to be seen what the promotion will decide. The chances are that Topuria gets the nod for the featherweight strap. However, a rematch with Makhachev is not completely out of the picture.
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