Video: Alexander Volkanovski takes on NBA champ Jamal Murray in grappling challenge

Jamal Murray is having fun on the mats with his return to the hardwood still weeks away.

UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has struck up a friendship with Murray, a basketball star who won the 2023 NBA title with the Denver Nuggets this past June, and he recently shared a YouTube video of the two of them grappling together.

Watch their training here:

The video shows Volkanovski lightly sparring with Murray and then welcoming a challenge from the Canadian athlete, who wants to see if he can last a minute grappling with Volkanovski without being submitted.

They wisely put a no leglock rule in place and then they’re off. Murray actually does a good job of holding onto top position at first, which perhaps shouldn’t be that surprising given that at 6-foot-4 tall, he towers over Volkanovski, and is listed at a solid 215 pounds. Near the end of the challenge, Volkanovski almost takes Murray’s back before instead getting into position for a guillotine just as the buzzer sounds.

Volkanovski says Murray is stronger than he looks, then proceeds to outwork him and submit him in a longer grappling session, despite Murray’s attempts to channel “The Black Beast.”

“I’m Derrick Lewis,” Murray said. “Just get up!”

The video ends with a few of Volkanovski’s basketball lowlights, reminding us that just because these two are the best in the world at what they do, it doesn’t mean can do it all.

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