'He's a mate': Alexander Volkanovski opens up on friendship with Mark Zuckerberg
| Last updated
UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has opened up about a rather unexpected friendship with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
The social media juggernaut’s CEO is an avid fan of MMA, attending UFC Vegas 61 alongside his wife earlier this month.
He’s even taken up jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts himself, and has been described as a ‘silent killer’ by his trainer.
However, the Australian UFC legend revealed that he and Zuckerberg had been friends long before the 38-year-old’s passion for MMA was public knowledge.
Volkanovski told The MMA Hour: “Yeah, he’s a mate.
“I knew well before he made the appearance at the UFC that he’s a big fan. He loves the sport.
“I do consider him my mate. Again, he’s a cool dude, we get along. I’m actually catching up with him a bit later on in the year.
“But yeah, cool dude. He knows his stuff, he knows the UFC and all about it.”
That’s certainly one friendship that I don’t think anyone expected to exist.
The Aussie has been on the injury list until recently with a thumb injury he suffered back in July when defeating Max Holloway at UFC 276.
Volkanovski revealed that Zuckerberg reached out following the incident.
He continued: “We sort of got started talking after the Max Holloway fight, when he found out I broke my hand.
“He was just like, ‘How do you get through that?’ Things like that.
“We were just talking about mindset and that’s sort of how it started.”
Mark Zuckerberg’s own MMA skills and toughness have been praised by some of the greats in the industry.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan wrote: “This is great! I’m so happy to see this. Training looks solid too!"
Aljamain Sterling also commented on his skills, writing: This is really amazing to see! Idk, UFC debut might be coming soon for you too.”
Conor McGregor chimed in to say: "Yo!!! F***ing awesome Mark!"
As for Volkanovski, he’s getting set to be on standby in case anything goes wrong at UFC 280.
Alexander Volkanovski confirmed earlier this week that he will be the official backup for the upcoming UFC lightweight championship fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev.
Featured Image Credit: Px Images / Alamy. Xinhua / Alamy.
Topics: Australia, UFC, MMA, Alexander Volkanoski