NBA champion wins BJJ challenge over a UFC champion… then gets repeatedly choked out

NBA champion Jamal Murray had a friendly BJJ session with UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski.

By: Anton Tabuena | 2 months ago
NBA champion wins BJJ challenge over a UFC champion… then gets repeatedly choked out

How would a much larger elite athlete do against a UFC champion? While one NBA journeyman was busy claiming he’d beat up a UFC champion, a current NBA champion actually decided to train with one.

Jamal Murray, the star point guard of the 2023 NBA champion Denver Nuggets, did some MMA and BJJ training with the UFC’s pound for pound king in Alexander Volkanovski. Coming from a different sport, the skill gap is obviously wide, but to Murray’s credit, he did win one grappling challenge against the UFC champion… technically.

NBA champ Jamal Murray trains with UFC champ Alex Volkanovski

Prior to starting their grappling session, a challenge was issued in which Alexander Volkanovski should try and submit the much larger NBA star in under a minute. Murray defended and moved pretty well for a begginner, but he eventually tapped to a guillotine choke right at the buzzer.

Replay did show that the tap happened right after the 1 minute mark though, so technically Jamal Murray survived and won the challenge.

“He made the minute?!” Volkanovski reacted with a laugh.

Unsurprisingly, that was all the “success” Murray had as soon as they continued their friendly roll. Volkanovski tapped him with a guillotine and a standing rear naked choke after, before giving Murray chances to start from dominant positions, only to easily escape.

“I’m not moving properly, I’m just trying to survive,” Murray laughed. “I’ll be better tomorrow.”

“You’re much better (in this sport) than I am at basketball,” Volkanovski replied.

He apparently wasn’t kidding, as they included a brief “highlight” clip of them playing basketball. This was the only time Volkanovski was able to put the ball through the hoop:

NBA star Jamal Murray carries UFC star Alex Volkanovski to help him finally score a basket.

Denver Nuggets team trained BJJ and MMA during NBA off-season

Jamal Murray had a good base, and was making some right reactions during that BJJ session. This is just fun cross-training for him, but it’s obvious that Murray has been putting in the work.

Perhaps some of that could also be credited to some of the sessions his team has done, with the reigning NBA champs in the Denver Nuggets doing some BJJ and boxing training this off-season.

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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