The energy was high, the crowd abuzz and the beers were flowing when Alex 'The Great' Volkanovski stepped into the UFC octagon on Sunday afternoon.
The Volkanovski - the pub not the man - was pumping with patrons eager to support the Shellharbour fighter defend his UFC Featherweight Championship title against the Korean Zombie in Florida.
The Illawarra Hotel was temporarily renamed to support Volkanovski.
The publicans and staff prompted the fight and hosted an event for Wollongong punters to watch and get behind the champion.
Emotions were high as people watched Volkanovski defeat the Korean Zombie, veteran Chan Sung Jung, in a four-round bout.
As soon as the referee called off the fight amid a flurry from Volkanovski, the crowd became electric with elation.
More cheers, applause and singing filled the hotel when he was named the victor.
Jayden said he went to the pub to support his uncle fight and since Volkanovski began his career, his nephew had grown to love the sport.
"The atmosphere is great," he said. "Seeing everyone here to support Alex and have a great time, have a couple of beers with mates is just great."
Jayden said it was "awesome" the hotel had been renamed after his uncle.
"Never would I have thought he would get the opportunity to partner with the Illawarra Hotel. It is great to see Alex's name plastered across the hotel."
Tyson said Alex was "one my best mates" and he and his other friends wanted to support Volkanovski.
Minutes before the fight kicked off, Tyson said Volkanovski's chances of taking out the championship were "very high" and he had enjoyed the afternoon at the hotel.
Post-fight, Volkanovski gave a shout out to his home country, causing the crowd to erupt.
"I told you before this fight, I said it call week, I'm on another level and I can't be stopped," Volkanovski said in the octagon.
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