UFC 294 – Alexander Volkanovski Mental Health Struggles

Alexander Volkanovski has opened up about his mental health struggles following his defeat to Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi, after taking the fight on 12 days notice.

It was a tough fight to prepare for considering he was up against the Lightweight Champion Makhachev, but he also had to make the 155lb weight-limit within 12 days, meaning he had to lose two stone.

A more brutal display was predicted, but the Featherweight Champion was knocked out in the first round, shattering his chance of becoming a double Champion in Featherweight and Lightweight.  

In a press conference afterwards, the 35-year-old spoke about why he took the fight on such short notice, revealing that when he is not fighting or in camp he is struggling with depression and he needed something to “keep him busy”.

The PFL Europe’s Head of Fighter Operations Dan Hardy has given some insight into what the Australian fighter could do for support. He mentioned that when the end of a career is in sight, commentary or coaching are options that can keep someone involved and busy.

The UFC has already given Volkanovski another fight in February 2024 – which should keep him busy – where he will defend his Featherweight Title against Ilia Topuria, who has a record of 14-0.

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