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UFC London, The Morning After: Volkov needed ‘Plan C’ to beat Werdum

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Werdum vs Volkov Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Alexander Volkov got the all-important W yesterday in London’s O2 Arena, putting his win streak at six. But while he’s happy with the result, he’s not quite happy with how he got there. In the post-fight press conference, he explained how beating Werdum took another level of planning and contigency. Via

“I’m not really happy with all the fight, like how it goes… I used in this fight not Plan A or Plan B, I used Plan C, so it was a worse plan, how it can go, but Fabricio was prepared very good for this fight. He gave a very hard fight for me,”

Werdum and Volkov have trained together in the past, and this could be seen in how each man approached the fight. Volkov was very patient on the ground, giving Werdum a lot of time on top to work but not making mistakes or giving away a submission. Werdum responded by employing ever-trickier tactics to take the fight to the floor, sweeping Volkov off stuffed shots and trying to bait him by going down too easily in the clinch and to caught kicks. Despite these tactics, Volkov’s striking skill and 29-year-old cardio-respiratory fitness saw him drop and knock out a tired Werdum.

“I think it was both of us, we were more cautious in this fight,” Volkov said. “I mean [we know each other well]. He knows that I can punch very hard and I know that his jiu-jitsu’s very good. It was a smart fight, waiting for mistakes. He’s waiting for me to make a mistake in jiu-jitsu, I’m waiting for him to make a mistake in the standup. I’m just working for this and did my job.”

Volkov seemed calm and relaxed in the cage, but he said the psychological battle was there. He’s looked up to Werdum as a top heavyweight for a long time. The commentators, Dan Hardy and John Gooden, touched on this, saying Werdum’s jokes and taunts were meant to reinforce his superior status in Volkov’s mind. Clearly, it didn’t work, but Volkov said that mental barrier was there, and it made him “uncomfortable”.

“When you feel some uncertainty in the fight against a person you were looking forward to in your youth and one of the fighters that you think of as one of the best in the world and you feel that it’s a real stepping stone in your career that will bring you to a completely other level, you always feel uncomfortable,” Volkov said through a translator. “But I tried to hide it and I really knew that it was the most important fight in my life. That’s why it was a little bit uncomfortable.”

Going out of his comfort zone bore results- Volkov is now 4-0 in the UFC. At 29, he’s a fresh face in the top ten, and one that wants his title shot sooner rather than later. He doesn’t care who it’s against, either.

“I think I deserve title shot right now because my win streak is four fights,” Volkov said. “I won against the former UFC champion (Werdum), before I won against [Stefan Struve, who beat] the current UFC champion, so maybe it’s my time.”

Maybe it is his time. Only time will tell.

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