Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Alexander Volkov Embracing “Heel” Role Ahead Of UFC London Headliner

UFC heavyweight contender Alexander Volkov knows he’s the villain ahead of his fight with Tom Aspinall at UFC London, but he’s fully embracing it.

Volkov will look to earn his second straight win over Aspinall in the UFC London main event. Aspinall is regarded as one of the top MMA fighters competing out of the UK at the moment and will no doubt earn the energy of the crowd this weekend.

Volkov knows that he’ll have very few fans in attendance in London, but he isn’t worried about how it could potentially impact his performance. The 34-9 veteran is coming off of wins in three of his last four fights, with his lone defeat over that stretch coming against former interim champ Ciryl Gane.

During his UFC London pre-fight press conference, Volkov explained why he’s basking in the added attention and being seen as an enemy by the London faithful.

“There is always face and heel in this business and right now I am the heel,” Volkov said. “But I’m happy with it because if the fight has attention, a story, power behind it, I’m very happy. And it’s always great when fans are very interested in the fight. They want to see me losing, they want to see him winning. That’s always good for business. I’m happy with it.” (h/t SportsKeeda)

Alexander Volkov
Image Credit: Getty Images

Leading into fight week, it was a bit unclear whether or not Volkov would be able to compete at UFC London amidst the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. UFC President Dana White had foreseen many potential problems for Russian fighters competing on the London card, but there have been only a limited number of cancelations leading up to the event.

Aspinall has been on a roll since winning his UFC debut over Jake Collier in July 2020. He’s won four straight with the promotion, including recent finishes over former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and Sergey Spivak.

Volkov will face plenty of hostility from the London crowd when he makes his walk to the Octagon, but he appears ready and willing to deal with all of the extra potential chaos on fight night.

What is your prediction for Alexander Volkov vs. Tom Aspinall?

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