Jacob Volkman recently caught up with AboveAndBeyondMMA.com and declared he is bitter about the UFC, and plans to expose them to the fans.
Ed Kapp: How did your introduction to MMA evolve into what it is today?
Jakob Volkmann: Well, I didn’t realize there was that much politics in martial arts, especially in the UFC. That was kind of frustrating. It’s not who is the best; it’s more of a political kind of BS.
EK: What do you mean by that?
JV: You’ve got to know the right person, have the right manager in there. And your style determines if you stay in, too. The guys that stand and bang are the ones who are still fighting for the UFC. The ones that take the fights to the ground and focus more on the technique on the ground, they’re not in there because apparently the fans don’t like that. That really bothers me because the UFC made the interest of the sport more of a stand-up fight because that’s what they put on the main card and that’s what the fans saw. They started liking that more than the ground game. That’s what really bothers me.
EK: Why were you released?
JV: I was released after a loss against Bobby Green, which I should’ve never lost. It was kind of a fluke loss, going into the fight sick. I lost and then after that, they cut me. I was 6-2 at lightweight and they still cut me. That was back in February.
EK: Were you expecting to be released?
JV: No, no. I said in a few interviews that I did expect it, but I was just playing with the media. I had no idea.
EK: Are you at all bitter about how things worked out with the UFC?
JV: Very bitter. They always claim that they treat the fighters so well. Yeah, they treat the top five per cent of the fighters well — the ones that are on the main card all the time. They don’t treat the rest of them very well. The healthcare plan is horrible, with a $1,500 deductible per injury — the catastrophic-injury insurance is not even really good insurance. There’s no retirement fund, there’s no signing bonus. You start off at six-and-six, you’re really not making too much money because you’re self-employed, so you’re paying the self-employment tax and you’re paying the regular tax and income tax. So you’re paying twice as much in tax. They claim they’re treating the fighters well, but they’re not, realistically.
EK: Do you feel that’s a misconception among fans?
JV: Of course … People always tell me, “You’re rich — you’re on TV!” Are you kidding me? I made $54,000 two years ago, paid $9,000 in taxes, so that leaves me with $45,000. This last year, I made $50,000 and paid $8,000 in taxes. That leaves me with $42,000 — that’s barely above poverty. I have three kids and a wife I’m supporting.
EK: At the end of the day, what are you hoping to accomplish with the World Series of Fighting?
JV: I’m trying to make the fans realize what the UFC is really like — I’m going to expose them as much as I can. But also my goal is to win in World Series and try to stay undefeated. Obviously it’s to win. The short-term goal is to win. The long-term goal is, as soon as they come out with that belt, I’d like to get that belt.
Volkmann fights Lyle Beerbohm at WSoF III in June.