Alex Volkanovski once again showcased his dominance in the octagon, solidifying his status as the reigning featherweight champion. Despite his remarkable achievements, the Lord Mayor of his native city in Australia refrains from presenting him with the keys to the city.
Volkanovski recently secured a TKO victory over Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290, held in Las Vegas last Sunday. This win marked his fifth successful defense of the UFC title. It catapulted him to a tie with the current heavyweight champion Jon Jones, at the pinnacle of the promotion’s pound-for-pound rankings.
Regrettably, Lord Mayor of Wollongong Gordon Bradbery is unmoved by Volkanovski’s success. He has declined to nominate him for the city’s most prestigious accolade.
Bradbery expressed his stance to the ABC, stating: “I also have a responsibility as the lord mayor of the city and as a responsible human being not to endorse those things which are violent,” he said.
“You can decorate it as much as you like but UFC is a violent activity.”
“It is against everything we stand for in our community in terms of violence and promoting violence.”
Numerous esteemed athletes, such as swimmer Emma McKeon, motorcycle champion Wayne Gardner, and Olympic marathon runner Kerryn McCann, have been honored with the keys to the city. It is the highest honor granted by the council to exceptional individuals.
Not everyone in Wollongong feels the same, a Windang hotel The Illawarra has opted to rename itself after the UFC champ.
Wollongong MP Paul Cully has penned several letters to Mayor Bradbery, urging him to reconsider his decision and acknowledge Volkanovski’s remarkable contributions.
Volkanovski trains at the Freestyle Fighting Gym in Windang, which is a suburb of Wollongong. But he resides with his family in Shellharbour.
In 2020, he was awarded the keys to the City of Shellharbour following his first UFC title win against Max Holloway.
During the interview after his match against Yair Rodriguez, Volkanovski expressed his unwavering dedication by affirming his immediate return to training to prepare for his forthcoming challenges.
His awe-inspiring performance against Rodriguez has garnered praise from UFC president Dana White, who has graciously granted Volkanovski the freedom to chart his own path.
White commented, “Volk looked incredible. He’s an absolute freak. He’s at one of those places in his career now where whatever he wants to do, what are we gunna say?”
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