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.