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Promoting violence and against community: Local Mayor Snubs Volkanovski

LockerRoom Team
18 July 2023

Alexander Volkanovski, widely regarded as the reigning pound-for-pound greatest mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, has been denied recognition and appreciation in his hometown of Wollongong, Australia.

Despite being a true representative of "The Gong," where he lives and trains, the current mayor, Gordon Bradbery, refuses to honor Volkanovski due to his association with MMA, claiming it promotes violence. This article delves into the mayor's perspective and sheds light on the challenges faced by MMA in Australia.

Wollongong, situated in New South Wales, holds pride in its association with accomplished individuals by awarding them the key to the city. Alexander Volkanovski's achievements undoubtedly make him eligible for such recognition, having reached the pinnacle of one of the most demanding sports. However, Mayor Gordon Bradbery, who holds reservations towards MMA, has excluded Volkanovski from this honor.

Mayor Bradbery, a former church pastor with a conservative mindset, disapproves of MMA as a sport. His stance is rooted in the belief that violent activities contradict the peaceful spirit of Wollongong and can potentially influence the youth negatively. In an interview with ABC News, Bradbery emphasized his responsibility as the lord mayor and as a responsible citizen not to endorse violence. He highlighted the importance of discouraging activities associated with brain trauma, expressing concerns about the message Volkanovski's recognition would send.

“I have a responsibility as the lord mayor of the city and as a responsible human being not to endorse those things which are violent. It is against everything we stand for in our community in terms of violence and promoting violence. It is really important that we put a message out to young people and more specifically now with brain trauma on the agenda. What sort of endorsement is this if I put that nomination forward when his profile is supporting an activity like that?,” he said in the interview.

While denied the keys to his hometown, UFC Champ Alexander Volkanovski remains undeterred in his pursuit of greatness. With numerous accolades, including five successful title defenses in the Featherweight division and worldwide recognition, he continues to excel in the sport.

Although Wollongong may have closed its doors, the town of Shellharbour, where Volkanovski grew up, bestowed the keys upon him in 2020 following his initial championship victory. Volkanovski's focus remains on his remarkable career, his millions of dollars in earnings, and his unwavering fan base

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