UFC London Results: Alexander Volkov Has Arrived, Finishes Former Champ Fabricio Werdum

UFC Alexander Volkov
Alexander Volkov Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Alexander Volkov has arrived in the title picture in a big way thanks to an upset finish of Fabricio Werdum at UFC London.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum topped the UFC London card on Saturday night across the pond. His opponent at the Fight Night event, Alexander Volkov, had run up a three fight win streak, and was himself a former Bellator MMA heavyweight champion. That made the main event a clash of former champions, with a potential shot at the UFC heavyweight champion on the line.

Of course, Stipe Miocic already has a date with light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier lined up. Which meant that the winner of Werdum vs. Volkov could be sitting for a while. Still, it was a huge opportunity for Werdum to get one last shot at gold. For Volkov, meanwhile, it was his biggest test to date.

Werdum opened with his now-patented jumping side kick, which Volkov welcomed with a smile. However, the Russian wasn’t smiling long when Werdum, only faking the kick, quickly got the fight to the ground and went to work with ground and pound. Volkov was trapped on his back for the majority of the round, eating blow after blow. It wasn’t until the final ninety seconds that he regained his feet. Then, Volkov was able to unload a number of strikes on Werdum as the former champ covered up. The change in momentum was palpable, and when Werdum fell to the canvas and opened his guard, Volkov wisely backed off. Moments later, however, the Brazilian snatched a leg for a takedown, and was again on top.

The action slowed a little in the second, as Volkov chose to hang back and avoid the level changes and takedowns of Werdum. Werdum had also slowed, but by the midway point was actively looking to get the fight back down. He did just that, completing a single leg takedown with just over two minutes remaining in the round. This time, Vokov found himself opened up, bloodied, and fending off a kimura. However, he survived the round, and they would go to a third.

Alexander Volkov saw the action shift in his favor early in the third round. Werdum seemed to have slowed considerably, and wound up with a cut under the eye. Volkov was consistently able to fight off Werdum’s takedowns, and gain the upper hand. However, confusion over whether Werdum grabbed his opponent’s gloves saw the action stood back up on one blown attempt by the Brazilian. On the feet, Werdum was eating jabs; on the next takedown attempt, it was Volkov again getting on top. Yet Werdum, ever the wizard on the ground, quickly transitioned to the back. Volkov was hip to what was going on, and quickly escaped.

Heading into the championship rounds, Werdum continued to initiate single leg takedowns. Volkov kept managing to turn the tables on the ex-champ. He wisely stayed out of harm’s way, and finally forced the issue. Backing out of Werdum’s guard, he allowed the Brazilian to regain his feet. Werdum went on the offensive, but exhausted, there was little behind his punches. Volkov answered back with authority, dropping Werdum! That was it — the former champ was finished. Alexander Volkov had the biggest win of his career, and called for a title shot against the winner of Miocic vs. Cormier after the fight.

Alexander Volkov def. Fabricio Werdum by knockout, Round 4, 1:38