Who had a budding friendship between UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and NBA star Jamal Murray on their 2023 bingo card?
Volkanovski and Murray hooked up last year when the latter visited Australia and gave the MMA star some tips on how to improve his jump shot on the basketball court. In exchange, ‘The Great’ offered to show Murray a thing our two in the world of kickboxing. Since then, Volkanovski and Murray have been spotted together on multiple occasions. The 6’4″ NBA star even arrived with Volkanovski at UFC 290 for his featherweight title unification clash against Yair Rodriguez earlier this year.
Recently, Volkanovski and Murray created another viral moment together when the 145-pound king attempted to submit Murray in under 60 seconds during a training session.
Jamal Murray may have no formal martial arts training, but his size, strength, and agility helped him survive a minute-long onslaught from one of the greatest mixed martial arts in the world today. You can’t help, but be a bit impressed.
What’s Next for Alexander Volkanovski?
After securing a big win over Yair Rodriguez in his last outing, Volkanovski has a few options as to what will come next inside the Octagon. The likeliest scenario will see him once again putting his featherweight title on the line against streaking standout Ilia Topuria as early as January, but a rematch with current lightweight champion Islam Makhachev continues to loom large over the No. 1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
In February, ‘The Great’ came up short in his bid to become a two-division world champion, but gave Islam Makhachev the fight of his life and in many opinions, did more than enough to secure a decision victory. Given the close and critically acclaimed nature of their scrap, everyone, including Volkanovski and the ‘Dagestani Destroyer’ seem intent on making their rematch a reality.
As for Jamal Murray, the 26 year old will begin his seventh year as a player for the Denver Nuggets when the NBA’s regular season gets underway in October.