Very tall heavyweights Stefan Struve and Alexander Volkov took up the cage today (Sat., Sept. 2, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 115 live on UFC Fight Pass from inside Ahoy Rotterdam in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Struve was the native son, looking to build on a two-fight win streak. The Russian Volkov, formerly the Bellator and M-1 heavyweight champion, had won four straight, two in UFC, and would instantly vault into the contender pool with a convincing win.
Volkov wore a smile right up until the fight began. Struve looked serious. They came out standing upright and kicking each other’s legs. Struve tried an uppercut as Volkov pressured. Struve landed a jab, then tried a jumping knee to the body. Struve threw an inside low kick. Volkov pressed Struve against the cage. Struve landed a headkick that Volkov caught and pushed forward into a takedown. Struve got back up, and landed a vicious uppercut and overhand on Volkov, who responded by swinging back hard. Volkov switched to southpaw and laded a body kick. Volkov landed a jab and ate one in return. Struve pressured and landed another hard uppercut. Volkov remained unphased. He landed a nice clinch knee. Struve landed a jumping knee that opened a cut under Volkov’s eye. Volkov took Struve down from the clinch and began landing hard ground-and-pound. Struve ate a lot of heavy shots before the round ended.
Round 2 began with Struve pushing forward, attempting to land with punch combinations. Volkov stopped an uppercut attempt with a well-timed jab. They both were exchanging in the pocket. Struve poked Volkov in the eye, momentarily stopping the fight to bring in the doctor. Volkov countered Struve, but the Dutchman, undeterred, landed a hard right hand. Volkov sent Struve backwards with a hard jab and followed it up with a good right hand and a follow-up combination. Struve poked him in the eye again, the exact same open hand that Jon Jones always used to do. Just like Jon Jones, the referee didn’t take a point even at this second offense. Struve landed a hard leg kick, and Volkov returned the favor twice. Struve tried to pressure, landing a hard right hand, then eating one in return. Volkov, standing southpaw, unloaded with a hard combination that seemed to hurt Struve. Volkov kept the pressure up until the bell, landing punches in combination as Struve shelled up on the cage.
Struve jabbed to the body to begin the third round. Volkov snapped Struve’s head back, and both fighters poked each other in the eye simultaneously. They stood in jabbing range, and Volkov got the advantage, punching Struve back to the cage. Struve shelled up, and Volkov landed a combination. Volkov buckled Struve’s leg as Struve came forward. Struve looked a little out of ideas. Volkov landed another hard right. He landed a body kick, then pushed Struve back into the cage and hit another right hand. This time, Struve had had enough, sliding down the cage to the canvas as Volkov rained down shots. The referee stepped in, ending the carnage. Volkov defeated the hometown hero by TKO.
Volkov thanked everyone who came from Russia to support him, and he did get a lot of cheers from the crowd, so it must have been a good number. He said the main problem was that his usual stuff didn’t work, so he had to change it up, but he did so and finished the fight. He called out no one, saying he didn’t care and the UFC could choose. Struve said that Volkov was just “the better man today,” and said he needs a little break to calm down and watch the fight before he made any decision about his future. He thanked the crowd in Dutch, and they cheered for him.
Official Result: Alexander Volkov def. Stefan Sturve by technical knockout at 3:30 of Round 3
See full UFC Fight Night 115 results, including play-by-play updates, here.