Volkov extends streak with stoppage of Werdum


Alexander Volkov’s sixth consecutive win was the most important of his career, as he knocked out former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in the fourth round of their UFC Fight Night main event at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, putting the Russian contender in prime position to make a call for a shot at the title.

The defeat was the 40-year-old Werdum’s first since a July 2017 loss to Alistair Overeem.

Werdum roared out of the corner, thinking of a jumping side kick before taking Volkov to the mat. Werdum went on to land several hard strikes but wasn’t able to improve his position. With less than two minutes left, Volkov was able to get back to his feet, and he scored with a series of punches to get himself back in the fight. A Werdum takedown with 40 seconds left put the bout into the Brazilian’s world once more, and he kept it there to the horn.

Werdum came out for the second round with his right eye rapidly swelling shut, and Volkov’s confidence was growing as he picked at his foe. And while Volkov held off Werdum’s first takedown attempt of the frame, he wasn’t able to stay upright on the next one, allowing Werdum to put some more points on the board and bloody Volkov’s forehead. In the final minute, Werdum sought a kimura, but wasn’t able to pull it off before the end of the stanza.

Volkov appeared to rock Werdum early in round three, cutting him under the right eye. Werdum quickly recovered, yet surprisingly, Volkov didn’t try to press his advantage. Werdum took advantage, staying busy, but Volkov’s more damaging strikes likely allowed him to steal a slow round.

But it in the second minute of the fourth frame, Volkov made sure the judges wouldn’t get involved, as he held off a charge from Werdum, with a right hand capping off a barrage of blows that put the Brazilian on the mat. The follow-up shots by “Drago” ended the fight, with referee Marc Goddard stepping in at 1:38 of round four.

With the win, the No. 8-ranked Volkov improves to 30-6. The No. 3-ranked Werdum falls to 23-8-1.

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Saturday, September 22
Sao Paulo, Brazil


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