UFC fans are surprised by the news that Australian featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski would be available as a 100-pound rugby league player in a popular video game.
The gaming community is abuzz with excitement as EA Sports gears up to launch UFC 5 for both PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S on October 27. This release marks a significant milestone, arriving after three years after the previous installment of this highly acclaimed game.
Revelations about the game have been slowly surfacing, and it’s been confirmed that fans will have the opportunity to step into the shoes of a young Volkanovski during his rugby-playing days.
Before embracing the world of mixed martial arts, Volkanovski dominated the rugby league field as a semi-professional player. He tipped the scales at 100kg while standing at just 167cm.
This pint-sized powerhouse was a key player for the Warilla Gorillas on the NSW South Coast. He frequently pitted himself against competitors of much bigger size. According to Volkanovski, this experience played a pivotal role in propelling him to the top of MMA.
He remarks, “I’ve got a whole other level of resilience and grit to get through that and I do think a lot of that comes back from when I was a 5-foot-6 front rower running at absolute monsters three times the size of me.”
“You need to tell yourself, I am about to run into a brick wall, in a sense. You need to do it to make your meters, you need to do it to get the ball away from your tryline and to the other hand.”
The news of fans being able to play as the rugby version of Volkanovski in the upcoming UFC 5 game has sent ripples of excitement among the MMA sports community.
Former teammates of Volkanovski have lauded him as an extraordinary force on the rugby field.
Former teammate Ngatai Hetet recalled in an interview with The Athletic: “[His opposition was] three times bigger, and he was the best in the whole league. These guys are heavyweights like [former heavyweight pro wrestler and UFC star] Brock Lesnar. Alex would just carry blokes. He would always fend a player off. He was unbelievable.”
“If he had an extra foot [in height], he would definitely be in the [National Rugby League]. He didn’t give a f**k about how big people were. He would just run the ball all day. He had no fear, no matter how big they were. And even if someone twice the size of him started picking on him or tried to fight him, he would clean them up.”
“You wouldn’t want to pick a fight with him, no matter how big they were.”