Volkov: Jiu-jitsu is losing relevance in modern MMA

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Two days before his fight with former UFC heavyweight champion Fabrico Werdum in the main event of UFC Fight Night 127 on Saturday, Alexander Volkov said he though jiu-jitsu was losing relevance in modern MMA. If he had been tapped out, it would not have evidenced his argument. However, he won by knockout in Round 4, which adds to his case.

“He’s really well-rounded and he’s really smart,” said Volkov, as transcribed by Peter Carroll for MMA Fighting. “I know he’s smart because I’ve trained with him. I think one of my best tools is my brain, I think I’m a smart fighter, too. I think it will be a really interesting fight because of that. I think the smarter fighter will win this fight, and I expect that to be me.”

“We have a really big team of jiu-jitsu players in Russia, it’s a very well-known team in the grappling world, it’s called Team Strela. The guys on this team are the best jiu-jitsu players and the best grapplers in the country. The team is made up of elite competitors. I’ve had the best wrestlers and the best submission fighters helping me to prepare from him. I feel like I’m ready for anything.”

“Jiu-jitsu has a really long and rich history in MMA, but compared to the past, jiu-jitsu is not as important as it used to be. Less and less people who are only good at jiu-jitsu become UFC champions.”

“Werdum is a really high-level jiu-jitsu player, and he’s definitely stronger than me in that area. He would win if we were just doing jiu-jitsu, but we’re not just doing jiu-jitsu.

“This is an MMA fight and I think it’s very difficult to submit guys who wrestle and also train in jiu-jitsu. I won’t trade submission with him, I’m going to strike with him and try to knock him out. I think it will be very difficult for him to submit me.”

“He is really good at striking too, for sure. I can’t say he’s like those jiu-jitsu guys or wrestlers who are just good at one thing. He has really good striking and he knows how to use that skill. I just believe I’m better.”

The former Bellator heavyweight champion proved that he was the better man that night. At the post-fight press conference, now on a six-fight win streak, Volkov said he wants a title shot.

“I think I deserve a title shot right now,” said Volkov, as transcribed by Trent Reinsmith for Forbes. “My winning streak is four right now. I beat a former UFC champion (Werdum) and a guy (Stefan Struve) who beat the current UFC champion, so maybe it’s my time.”

“I would be so excited to fight for the belt in Russia. I want to bring the UFC to my country for the first time. If I can bring the UFC to Russia, I will be a fighter who has made history. I am so happy to be a part of the group of Russian fighters now fighting in the UFC. Thank you to all the fans who support me. I have seen more and more fans supporting me and it is always growing so thank you to all of them.”