UFC on ESPN 11: Alexander Volkov Respects Wrestling of Curtis Blaydes, but “It’s Not A Big Deal”

Alexander Volkov arrived in the U.S. on June 10. He headed California to train with Black House MMA, before traveling to Las Vegas for his fight this weekend. And he’s not really sure what getting back to Moscow will entail after his UFC on ESPN 10 main event fight with Curtis Blaydes.

Including whether he’ll be quarantined when he returns home. The coronavirus pandemic has added all sorts of complications.

“I don’t even know right now, if I need it or not,” he said of that possibility, speaking to Cageside Press at the the event’s media day on Thursday.

“We’re tested a lot of times [for coronavirus]. We were tested here maybe three or four times in the UFC,” continued Volkov. “I’m not worried about getting a positive test here.” However, he’s not too sure what exactly will come after. “I don’t really understand how I’ll get to Moscow or whether we’ll be quarantined. Probably, we’ll see.”

That’s the roll of the dice he’s made here, keeping his fight with Curtis Blaydes intact. The pair were originally scheduled to fight in Saskatoon, Canada. Many international fighters have joined the Fight Island cards. Not Volkov.

While the location has changed, little else has. The match-up ahead of him sees the 7th ranked heavyweight taking on one of the best wrestlers in the division.

“I meet a lot of wrestlers. Maybe half or more of my fights, people want to take me down,” said Volkov. “I’m used to it, to be pushed by wrestlers.”

In other words, if you’re expecting to see Blaydes steamroll the former Bellator champion, think again. “I work on my takedown defense skills in all my camps. This is one of my good sides, really. Because all people are trying to take me down. I’m really good with this,” he stated.

Over a decade in the sport has ensured that. “I’m here in professional sports more than ten years, and more than ten years I’ve met and challenged wrestlers in the cage, the ring, everywhere,” Volkov added. “For me, it’s not a big deal to fight with him because of his wrestling skills. But I respect them for sure. He’s one of the best in it. For me, this makes the challenge really interesting.”

Watch the full UFC on ESPN 11 media day scrum with Alexander Volkov above.