Alexander Volkov put on one of the best performances of his career last Saturday night, with a first round stoppage victory over Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the UFC Vegas 56 main event. Volkov showed off an excellent command of range, a strong chin, and some great finishing instincts on his way to getting his hand raised.
The only problem, for some fans (and certainly as far as Rozenstruik was concerned), was in the quickness of the stoppage. ‘Drago’ pummeled a reeling ‘Bigi Boy’ against the cage, landing several heavy uncontested strikes before the bout was waved off. But Rozenstruik never lost consciousness, and he never really dropped. Even as referee Herb Dean stepped in, some might argue the Surinamese fighter was regaining his composure.
None of that is Volkov’s concern, however. As he told reporters after the fight, “Everything went perfect, nothing went wrong.” Anyone who had a problem with the stoppage can take it up with Dean and the commission instead.
“It’s not my fault anyway,” Volkov told reporters during the post-fight presser (transcript via MMA Fighting). “The referee stopped this.
“In the moment, I hit him, he was a little bit knocked out so he wasn’t being fully fresh. Anyway, it was a big opportunity to knock him out, to land because he was almost on the mat. I was ready to throw him down and continue my work.”
“[Rozenstruik] was in a bad position,” he added. “The referee stopped the fight. He was in a bad position and he took some hard punches and he was a little bit knocked out. It’s not my fault but ask this of the referee, not me. I just did my job.”
Speaking of possible future fights, the 33-year-old addressed two notable losses on his record, to Derrick Lewis and Ciryl Gane. And while it doesn’t sound like the Lewis fight holds much pull—“I won all the rounds and then I just took this punch,” Volkov said of the bout—a chance to fight Gane again is definitely an opportunity the Russian would take.
“For me, I like more challenges, and right now, for me, I think that rematch with Gane because I respect him very much, about his stand-up work, about everything, it’s very interesting for me to meet him again. I’m ready for any challenge against any fighters, any time.”
Gane is currently set to face off against Tai Tuivasa on September 3rd, in the main event of UFC Paris. The card marks the first foray into Gane’s home country, following France’s decision to legalize MMA competition starting in early 2020.
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