UFC London went down last Sat. night (March 19, 2022) inside O2 Arena in London, England, leaving several losing combatants feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Rodrigo Vargas, who was choked out by hometown hero Paddy Pimblett (see it here).
And Luana Carolina, who suffered a vicious knockout loss at the elbow of Molly McCann (video replay here). And let’s not forget Dan Hooker, who registered a first-round defeat at the hands of Arnold Allen, his fourth loss in last five fights.
But which fighter is suffering from one of the worst post-fight hangovers, now a few days removed from the show?
Coming into his headliner against division prospect Tom Aspinall, Volkov was fresh off a big win over Marcin Tybura at UFC 267, which came just four months removed from his loss to former interim heavyweight champion, Ciryl Gane. A win for the Russian big man would have given him his first consecutive win streak since Oct. 2020-Feb. 2021.
Unfortunately for “Drago,” inconsistency reared its ugly head once again and Volkov came up short in a big, must-win fight, getting submitted by Aspinall (straight armbar) in the very first round, handing him his second loss in his last three fights.
I’m trying my best to avoid kicking a man while he’s down, but that seems to be the problem for “Drago.” When the chips are down and a fight that will get him over the hump (and into potential title contention) is in front of him, he comes up short.
It’s been the story of his UFC career.
Volkov, 33, started off with four straight wins over top shelf competition including Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum, among others, but equally high profile losses against the likes of Derrick Lewis, Gane and Aspinall have prevented him from picking up steam, the momentum he needs to get into the Top 5 (and the heavyweight) title picture.
When you have new blood such as Aspinall and surging veterans like Tai Tuivasa making their moves, one has to be near-perfect to reach the top. And it doesn’t help that the division will only get a bit more crowded once Jon Jones makes his eventual jump into the 265-pound pool. As for Volkov, he will likely be knocked down a peg or two, making his climb back up a bit tougher.
As for what could be next for Volkov, perhaps a fight against Shamil Abdurakhimov is in order. While it’s not the sexiest fight out there, it could be one that helps him get back on track and get his confidence back. Abdurakhimov is currently on a horrendous three-fight losing streak and hasn’t won a contest since April 2019. While it may seem like a softball is being teed up for Volkov, no fights are easy in the heavyweight division — especially considering his confidence may be shot at the moment.
For complete UFC London results and coverage click here.