UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and NBA champion Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray are used to being at a size disadvantage in their respective sports.
Standing at 5-foot-6, Volkanovski typically finds himself matched against fighters a few inches taller. On the basketball court, Murray may typically be guarded by someone close to his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame, but will have to deal with defenders over seven feet tall on a regular basis. No matter the height difference, Volkanovski has the advantage of knowing each opponent has to fit into his weight class, while Murray doesn’t have that luxury.
The two champions recently jumped into Volkanovksi’s world. Murray met up with Volkanovski to receive some striking and grappling pointers from the UFC champ, but also didn’t shy away from issuing a challenge of his own for a live roll.
“You try to submit me in under a minute,” Murray said in the video posted to Volkanovski’s YouTube channel.
Volkanovski smiled as they worked out terms of what was fair game and what was off limits. Murray wanted Volkanovski to go for anything, with the exception of leg locks.
Do you think Murray’s physical advantages came into play on the ground?
We’re talking about an NBA champ in Murray who’s taller, heavier and incredibly athletic. Yeah, as you’d expect, none of that mattered.
It was a playful roll and Volkanovski wasn’t going hard, but he still got in position to tap Murray with a guillotine right as the time on the one-minute challenge expired. Certainly not the kind of buzzer-beater Murray is used to.
Check out video of the two champions training and rolling on the mat below. As a bonus at the very end of the video, Murray lifted Volkanovski up like a child so he could dunk a basketball.