UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski with fans at the Kembla Grange Racecourse. | Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images
Fancy a pint at The Volkanovski?
Since entering the UFC in 2017 Alexander Volkanovski has shown himself to be one of the best in the game. In 2019 he claimed the UFC featherweight title with a unanimous decision win over Max Holloway. He then defeated Holloway, by split decision, in an immediate rematch to retain the title.
Most recently, at UFC 266 in 2021, Volkanovski pulled off his second successful title defence—this time against Brian Ortega.
The success inside the Octagon, where he is undefeated in ten contests, has seen Volkanovski gain massive support both home and abroad. This week, it was revealed, that this support has resulted in the Aussie getting a popular pub named after him in his home town of Illawara, New South Wales.
According to Illawarra Mecury pub owner Ryan Aitchison changed the name of The Illawarra to The Volkanovski to honour his local hero.
“Some towns give their heroes the key to the city, here in the Illawarra we’re going to go one bigger, and we’re going to give our hero the keys to the pub,” said Aitchison. “[Volkanovski] always talks about where he comes from and he raves about the place, and now it’s time for us to start raving about our hero, a remarkable human that is an inspiration and a role model for everyone.”
Volkanovski will be at the pub today pulling pints and cooking steaks for patrons.
“I don’t think a pub has ever gone to this level to support its hometown hero,” added Aitchison, “And we want to put our region on the map as the kind of place that goes that extra mile in support great role models and people that do great things for the area.”
Volkanovski is due back in UFC action next month. He had been planning for a trilogy fight with former champion Holloway. However, the Hawaiian was forced to pull out of the bout due to an injury.
‘The Great’ is now slated to take on ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung. That fight headlines UFC 273 on April 9. In addition to the UFC featherweight title being on the line, there is also a UFC bantamweight title unification bout between champion Aljimain Sterling and interim champ Petr Yan.