Heavyweights headlined the UFC on FOX 24 preliminary fight card on Saturday in Kansas City, Missouri with Roy Nelson facing Russian Alexander Volkov. Volkov defeated Nelson by unanimous decision in his second Octagon appearance.
Volkov used his reach advantage to establish his jab in the early going. He employed front kicks to the body to keep Nelson on the outside. Nelson, a knockout artist, tried to employ a wrestling strategy against the taller opponent. He was able to put Volkov on his back in the opening round, but was unable to inflict damage. The referee stood the fighters up in the closing seconds of the frame and Volkov unloaded a flurry of punches.
Volkov continues to utilize his jab in the second frame, and Nelson was unable to secure another takedown. Volkov began to pick Nelson apart with his striking while Nelson could only try desperately to land that one big shot.
In the final round, the kicks to the body started paying off for Volkov as Nelson slowed. Volkov stayed out Nelson’s punching range and delivered a heavy dose of kicks to the body. Each time Nelson tried to close the distance, he was met with a front kick from Volkov. After fifteen minutes of fighting, all three judges scored the fight 30-27 for Volkov.
Volkov entered the fight ranked No. 11 in the heavyweight division. The Bellator MMA veteran made his UFC debut in November. He’s now on a four-fight winning streak and looking to move up the ranks.
“I want to return to my family and get a little bit of rest. But no matter who’s coming next, I’m here for the belt. I’m here for the belt,” he said.