3 things every UFC fan needs to know about Alexander Volkov
Alexander Volkov is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous fighters in the UFC heavyweight division today. The talented heavyweight went through several ups and downs in his career before finally gaining the upper hand in recent fights.
Currently, Alexander Volkov is being touted as a potential future UFC heavyweight champion. However, with names like Francis Ngannou, Stipe Miocic, Derrick Lewis and others patrolling the title landscape, it would be a daunting task for the 6’7 “Russian fighter to ascend the heavyweight throne.
Ahead of Alexander Volkov’s next fight this weekend, let’s take a look at some of the things every UFC fan should know about him …
# 3 Alexander Volkov is a former MMA champion, having won titles in other notable organizations
Alexander Volkov is currently one of the top ranked UFC heavyweights, but is no stranger to top MMA competition or even MMA world titles for that matter. Volkov previously held heavyweight titles in M-1 Global and Bellator MMA during his time in these organizations.
Now, given that the UFC is considered the first mixed martial arts promotion in the world – and it has been since Pride FC retreated back in the day – that doesn’t change the fact that “Drago” has the invaluable experience of managing pressure that comes from being a top contender or world champion in a top MMA organization.
# 2 Alexander Volkov is one of the most enduring heavyweight MMA fighters today
Alexander Volkov has participated in 41 fights in his professional MMA career so far. The Russian racked up a record 33 wins and eight losses during his long and difficult road to MMA glory. Of his eight losses, two came by KO / TKO, two by submission and four by decision.
Needless to say, the fact that Alexander Volkov has only suffered four stoppages in total in such a long MMA career shows just how enduring the Russian MMA mainstay really is. Volkov is well known for being technically proficient in all aspects of the MMA game – whether it is grabbing, hitting, or effectively mixing the two aspects while attacking or defending.
# 1 Alexander Volkov is nicknamed after one of the most iconic figures in cinema history
Alexander Volkov’s nickname “Drago” is derived from the fourth installment of the legendary Rocky film series. Rocky 4 featured Soviet super-athlete Ivan Drago as the main antagonist for protagonist Rocky Balboa to defeat.
This film was released in 1985, during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Similar to many other Cold War films produced in Hollywood at the time, Rocky 4 featured the hero who represented America facing off against the villain who represented the USSR.
Although the USSR consisted of several different republics, the film villain of the USSR was generally portrayed as Russian – as a proud representative of Soviet Russia.
Despite being one of the deadliest and meanest antagonists in the Rocky franchise, Drago has become one of the most iconic characters in movie history. Relations between the United States and Russia – especially between the people of both countries, rather than governments – improved dramatically after the fall of the Soviet Union.
In fact, many of the old Soviet stereotypes are generally viewed with lightness by Russian moviegoers and fans of pop culture. Alexander Volkov adopted ‘Drago’ as his fighter’s nickname, allegedly as a way to pay homage to the dangerous fictional boxer from Soviet Russia.
In a UFC.com article last year, the similarity between Alexander Volkov and Drago’s calm, unemotional approach to their opponents was one of the many notable things on display. The article featured an interview with Volkov in which he explained how he viewed his then-opponent, Curtis Blaydes, as another opponent. In true Drago style, Alexander Volkov said –
“He’s my next opponent, that’s all… I’m not thinking about the standings… Either you’re champion or you’re not; the rest is just numbers and statistics. Either way, it’s not that easy to be in the Top 10 heavyweights in the world.
UFC Vegas 30: Volkov vs. Gane
At UFC Vegas 30, Alexander Volkov will face undefeated heavyweight Ciryl Gane in a five-round bout. The heavyweight will be making headlines this weekend inside UFC Apex.
Alexander Volkov’s most recent fight was a second round TKO victory over Alistair Overeem. Meanwhile, Ciryl Gane’s most recent fight was a unanimous decision victory over Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
With a victory over Gane, Alexander Volkov will increase his chances of winning the UFC heavyweight title currently held by Francis Ngannou. The champion is expected to defend his title in a rematch against Derrick Lewis. The winner of the fight will likely defend against Stipe Miocic as he seeks to reclaim his gold. Beyond that, the winner of this weekend’s main event will likely be face to face with the champion down the line.
If Alexander Volkov were to win the UFC heavyweight title, he would make his name in the history books as one of the few fighters to win the world heavyweight title gold in three major MMA-M- promotions. 1 Global, Bellator MMA and UFC.
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