Alexander Volkanovski knows all about dramatic weight loss.
The UFC champ was once a rugby league player who tipped the scales at over 200lbs, a far cry from the 145lb limit he currently competes at as the No. 1 featherweight in the rankings world of MMA Fighting and the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
In an interview with The AllStar, Volkanovski was asked his thoughts on another UFC star whose weight has been a popular topic of conversation, lightweight contender Paddy Pimblett, who caught the eye and commented for being noticeably bigger between fights.
“I know the science and I don’t just know that, I was doing that,” Volkanovski said (h/t MMA Mania). “Back when I was going there and people were seeing me win the PXC world featherweight title, I was going back to Thailand not even two weeks later and people were looking at me like, ‘How do you look like that? You were just here. What? It doesn’t make sense.
“I used to weigh 65.8 [kilograms]145 [pounds], and in the week … so next weekend, 86 kilograms. It’s over 185 [pounds]and you used to see this, way above – it’s almost 190. I used to go from 145 to 190 [pounds] within a week. It’s not healthy. It’s terrible for you. I’m blown away by how his head swells like that. It’s quite funny.
For the most part, Pimblett accepted all of the criticism regarding her weight. Ahead of his final fight at UFC London in July, the Englishman caught the eye of onlookers at the event’s official weigh-ins and sent a message to his critics.
“For everyone who tried to shame me and said I’d miss the weight or retire, kiss my ass,” Pimblett said.
Volkanovski thinks it’s possible that some of the comments directed at Pimblett were meant to be constructive.
“Look, honestly, I hear about people shaming him and all that kind of stuff, yeah, some people would,” Volkanovski said. “But I think there are a lot of people who probably care about his health too, because it’s not healthy. I know that because I’ve been in the same position.
Elaborating further on his own weight management misadventures, Volkanovski opened up about how dangerous it is to his health not to manage his diet properly. He added that he was also aware of what people were saying about him in his heaviest days, and the words definitely had an effect on him.
“You definitely feel like shit,” Volkanovski said. “I remember because I would even have a few days, because I would eat so stupidly right after, because I came here, I would fluctuate so much, I would fluctuate a lot faster too. I would retain a lot more water because I was always doing this.
“Two days after a fight, I’d be on a plane and all the water – because you know all the water goes to your ankles in there – I mean, I couldn’t even put my shoes on,” he said. continued Volkanovski. “My legs [swell up]. It’s very dangerous. It’s actually dangerous too, so I have to wear the big socks and that’s not good enough because I stretched them out right away. I was pretty crazy with it, but it’s not healthy, man.
“Not only do you feel s***, obviously you look s*** and it’s a little embarrassing to hear that too. It’s not a blow to Paddy Pimblett, it’s me who talk about my experience.
Watch Volkanovski’s full interview with The AllStar here: