Volkanovski was born in Shellharbour, NSW, Australia to Macedonian and Greek parents. He started training wrestling at an early age which he won an Australian title when he was 12. He switched his focus to pursue rugby league as the front rower when he was 14 where he won Australia Rugby Mick Cronin Medal in 2010 as Group 7 player with the Warilla Gorillas and won the Premiership with them in 2011.
Freestyle Fighting Gym trainer Joe Lopez said Volkanovski, who was man of the match in the 2011 Group Seven grand final when Warilla beat Gerringong, started training in MMA at the age of 22 and Greco-Roman wrestling to keep fit for rugby league where he weighted 97 kg (214 Ib). However, he soon realised he had a passion for the sport and wants to go as far as he can. He switched to combat sport in 2012 where he fought in the middleweight division as he was weighted 120Ib with his 5′ 6″ frame prior moving the lightweight and featherweight division.
From humble beginings Alexander the great Volkanovski now fights in the UFC.
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