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You might imagine that a fighter in his first title fight, his first UFC fight scheduled for 5 round even, might find himself with a bit of pressure on his shoulders. In fact, first time challengers have from time to time remarked that having additional media obligations has made their first shot all the more difficult. However, Alexander Volkanovski feels right at home.
“There’s no pressure. I’m really good in these situations,” Volkanovski said. “Obviously there might be a little more media, but I’m just play what’s in front of me - I always have and always will be like that.”
That ability to turn a switch is one of the things that Volkanovski has felt has always separated him from the crowd.
“No matter what needs to be done, I just focus on what’s in front of me,” he said. “I’m right here having a chat to you, if I need to do a session after this, I’m 100% focused on that session.”
And it’s not just adapting from situation to situation, he also feels that his adaptability transfers to the cage. That is something that the challenger feels is lacking in the opponents Holloway has faced thus far.
“I adapt so well. I always adapt to what’s in front of me. I’ve always been that type of fighter. There’s so many ways I can do this. If he gives me a problem here, I can go there. If he gives me a problem there, I can go here. It doesn’t matter,” he said.“It’s not just me being able to wrestle and being able to strike. It’s me timing everything, calculated all together and really playing what’s in front of me. That’s the difference between me and a lot of the fighters he’s faced before me.”
Of course, Volkanovski credits his team for helping him develop the ability to do so. The hard work they’ve given him in camp has put him in this position and, in his opinion, given him the right to call himself one of the best that has ever done it.
“I’m just trying to get through these sessions. That’s how hard we train. I want to smash these sessions out,” he said. “Fighting is the easy part, it really is. I’m in good nick and I’m ready to show the world, I’m one of the greatest featherweights of all time and December 14th I get to do that.”
Beating Holloway this weekend would certainly be a huge step in adding himself to that short list of featherweight.