When Jacob Volkmann isn't treating patients as a chiropractor, he's wreaking havoc in the Octagon. This Sunday, he's back in action against Paul Kelly...
gotta start growing up and taking things serious.”
words directed at Jacob Volkmann two years ago didn’t come from his wife, his
parents, or a close friend, but from the owner of a bank in his hometown of
Fergus Falls, Minnesota who apparently believed that being a professional
fighter wasn’t the right path for a family man who was also a practicing
for you to say because I’ve got bills to pay,” responded Volkmann, who was in
the early stages of a career that eventually brought him to the UFC in November
he didn’t tell the bank owner was that after being a athlete since he began
wrestling at the age of four, turning off those competitive urges doesn’t come
easy, and that in mixed martial arts, he found a way to continue being an
athlete after a stellar college career that saw him earn recognition as an
All-American three times for the University of Minnesota.
want to keep fighting as long as I can, until my body gives out,” said
Volkmann, currently 10-2 as a pro. “I’m focused on fighting and I want to do it
not to mean that he’s abandoned his practice, Volkmann Chiropractic, in White
Bear Lake, Minnesota, but he admits that “the office just started, so it barely
pays for itself.”
in the meantime, he coaches high school wrestling and focuses on his career in
the Octagon, which got off to a rocky start as he lost his first two bouts, to
Thiago and Martin Kampmann. With his back against the wall, he entered his
March bout against Ronys Torres knowing that a third straight loss would
probably mark the end of his UFC stay for the time being. In response, Volkmann
delivered a workmanlike, yet unspectacular, three round split decision win that
kept him alive in the ultra-competitive UFC lightweight division.
fight until my new contract is a must win,” said Volkmann, who returns to
action this Sunday against the UK’s Paul Kelly. “This fight is a must win. I
thought the Paulo Thiago fight was pretty exciting. The Kampmann fight wasn’t
too exciting, it was short, and the Torres fight wasn’t very exciting, so I
think I’m still on the border.”
while he got the win against Torres, he knows that it wasn’t going to win any
awards for Fight of the Year, something you can tell irks him a bit.
I was wrestling in college I always wrestled the same way – keep on moving,
keep the pace up, and it was pretty exciting,” he said. “I’ve always trained to
make it exciting in the fights too. (Against Torres) I needed to work on
controlling him more and I didn’t work on my hands like I should have and that
kind of threw me for a loop during the fight.”
coach Greg Nelson got on Volkmann’s case, telling him that his standup looked
like he was “swatting bees”.
was pretty embarrassed at how my standup was against Torres,” he said. “My
hands should be better.”
the curse of many lifelong wrestlers, who finally get to throw hands when they
crossover to mixed martial arts and either develop poor technique or abandon
what got them to the dance in the first place.
do so much better when I just straight grapple, but when I throw punches, I
keep on forgetting that there are submissions there,” said Volkmann, who has
six subs (two via strikes) on his record. “Against Torres, I was just thinking
about punching him. That’s what I’m hoping to change with Paul Kelly here.”
get to where he wants to be, Volkmann and Nelson have been working the pads
daily, and have also altered their training regimen a bit.
intertwining everything with punches and takedowns and submissions,” he said. “Before
we were doing punches or takedowns or submissions.”
if the idea of a second straight UFC win and showing off an improved fight game
isn’t enough motivation for him, consider that in Kelly, he’s facing a fighter
he doesn’t exactly want to send “Christmas” (pardon the pun) cards to.
really don't like Paul,” said Volkmann. “I like him less than all my
previous opponents put together.”
where did all this bad blood come from? All from the fact that the original
meeting between the two at UFC 116 in July was postponed because of visa issues
on Kelly’s side.
had two months to get a visa?” asks Volkmann. “It doesn’t take two months to
get a visa. He messed that up and I lost a lot of sponsorships, so I’m pretty
irritated with him.”
despite losing what he estimates to have been three to five thousand dollars in
sponsorship money, Volkmann won’t be coming out reckless on Sunday in order to
take his frustration out on his opponent, and he doesn’t believe Kelly will
assuming the worst and I’m assuming that he’s gonna play it smart,” he said. “I
don’t want to expect him to come at me like an idiot, because what if he
doesn’t? I’m expecting the hardest that he can give, and I always train for
for his scouting report on Kelly, Volkmann doesn’t seem too impressed with the
I was watching his fights, he didn’t move his head as much as I thought a standup
guy would,” he said. “He did have pretty good placement with his hands, but it
didn’t seem like they had very much power. I’ve been working my hands and my
feet and moving my head a lot so hopefully I can avoid his punches. As far as
his ground game goes, he doesn’t have much – elbows are about all he’s got and
I don’t care about elbows. He’s probably working on his takedown defense, which
is fine. He probably thinks that I’m gonna shoot, which is not that smart
because I’m a Greco guy. I don’t know if he knows that or not and Greco is a
whole different ballgame.”
Jacob Volkmann is a lot different than whoever that bank manager thought he was
two years ago. He’s a fighter, a father, a husband, a coach, and a doctor.
Sounds pretty grown up to me.