On Saturday, March 17 Fabricio Werdum and Alexander Volkov will meet inside the cage at UFC London. At Thursday’s press conference Volkov shared his thoughts on Werdum as an opponent and where Jiu-jitsu stands in the current world of MMA.
He also spoke about his fight preparation ahead of Fight Night London and what he did to prepare for such a high caliber grappler such as Werdum.
“He’s really well-rounded and he’s really smart,” said Volkov.
“I know he’s smart because I’ve trained with him. I think one of my best tools is my brain, I think I’m a smart fighter, too. I think it will be a really interesting fight because of that. I think the smarter fighter will win this fight, and I expect that to be me.”
Russia has some of the best grapplers and wrestlers in the world. It was not difficult for the former Bellator heavyweight Champ to find training partners.
“We have a really big team of jiu-jitsu players in Russia, it’s a very well-known team in the grappling world, it’s called Team Strela. The guys on this team are the best jiu-jitsu players and the best grapplers in the country,” said Volkov.
‘’The team is made up of elite competitors. I’ve had the best wrestlers and the best submission fighters helping me to prepare from him. I feel like I’m ready for anything.”
Volkov thinks that in order to be a successfull MMA fighter one cannot be a one trick pony. He does respect the history of Jiu-jitsu.
“Jiu-jitsu has a really long and rich history in MMA, but compared to the past, jiu-jitsu is not as important as it used to be. Less and less people who are only good at jiu-jitsu become UFC champions,” said Volkov.
“Werdum is a really high-level jiu-jitsu player, and he’s definitely stronger than me in that area. He would win if we were just doing jiu-jitsu, but we’re not just doing jiu-jitsu. This is an MMA fight and I think it’s very difficult to submit guys who wrestle and also train in jiu-jitsu. I won’t trade submission with him, I’m going to strike with him and try to knock him out. I think it will be very difficult for him to submit me.”
He also used Werdum as an example for someone who is a well rounded MMA fighter.
“He is really good at striking too, for sure. I can’t say he’s like those jiu-jitsu guys or wrestlers who are just good at one thing. He has really good striking and he knows how to use that skill. I just believe I’m better.”