Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Alexander Volkov: It’s A Pity Fedor Never Fought In The UFC

Fellow Russian powerhouse Alexander Volkov would have liked to see his fellow countryman Fedor Emelianenko compete in the UFC.

A bombshell dropped earlier today, as it was announced that “The Last Emperor” would take part in the first-ever Bellator MMA event in Russia. Further details emerged and Emelianenko will headline the fight card in Moscow, Russia on October 23. However, at this time, an opponent has yet to be determined for the legend.

As a Pride heavyweight champion and an M-1 Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion, Fedor’s accolades are far-reaching. The Russian legend holds a professional record of 39-6 and made his pro debut back in 2000. To this day, some regard him as the greatest heavyweight of all time after going unbeaten for over eight years.

Fedor Emelianenko last competed in 2019 at Bellator 237 and won against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson via TKO in the first round.

Volkov’s Take On Fedor Emelianenko In The UFC

Ahead of his headliner with France’s Ciryl Gane at UFC Vegas 30, Volkov spoke his piece about how Fedor might fare if he fought his prime years in the UFC (h/t RT Sports).

“Actually, it’s hard to say. Based on my personal experience, UFC just differs from the rest of organizations, even in America. Volkov said. I used to fight in Bellator. I had many fights in Russian promotions. UFC is just a different story. I don’t know how it works, but you feel just a different level of responsibility here. I came to the UFC with a record of around 30 fights, and I was still nervous as a rookie. It was just a different feeling compared to any other promotion I had fought at before. So it would be really hard to predict Fedor’s performance in the UFC, to be honest. It would be interesting.

Fedor Emelianenko

“Of course, I followed Fedor’s career and supported him when he fought in the US in Strikeforce and Affliction. But I didn’t have a good idea of how that worked in terms of rankings and matchmaking. I started understanding it all a bit later. For me, he was just the man, the best heavyweight on the planet. At that time, I would certainly tell you that Fedor beats everybody. But from my current perspective, the experience I have had so far, I would say fighting in the UFC is not easy.” Alexander Volkov said.

The UFC Is A Different Ballgame, Says Volkov

The #5 ranked Volkov reiterates that the level of competition in the UFC is just different. Often times, it is thought that some may overexaggerate the quality of opposition in the UFC compared to other promotions. Although, the 6 foot 7 Russian contender is convinced that the pressure alongside the competition is ‘not easy’.

“The point is some fighters say something like, ‘So what’s so special about the UFC? Does it really matter? Some fight in the UFC; we fight here. The level of opposition is quite similar. It’s just their name, just their brand.’ Actually not. Why are you not in the UFC then? The money is much better there. Everything looks and feels a bit different in the UFC….it’s like you are a rookie here and the pressure, the responsibility is much higher, much more eyes on you, much more people in Russia follow you. You represent your country now on a different level. Your career, your way up there depends on every single fight…lots of things.” Volkov continued.

Alexander Volkov, Alistair Overeem
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

“On the whole, it would be very interesting for me to see Fedor in the UFC. It’s a pity he never fought there. But he’s had a great and complete career, and he still competes, and I only wish him every success in his future fights.” Volkov concluded.

It seems like Alexander Volkov has a vested interest in his fellow Russian cohort’s endeavors but isn’t taking his eye off the prize this weekend.

Volkov just inked a new fight deal with the UFC, so fans will at least get to see one Russian titan competing in the Octagon for a while. With the pressure Alexander Volkov has confessed to, undoubtedly the #5-ranked heavyweight is aware of the possible title implications behind this main event.

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Doug Murray
Doug A Murray is a freelance writer that contributes to a variety of websites. With experience in other sporting fields, his primary focus is on boxing and mixed martial arts.