UFC: Overeem wants Volkov next

By Kevin Sox

After overcoming a tough challenge and eventually TKO’ing Aleksei Oleinik at UFC Fight Night St. Petersburg last Saturday, heavyweight veteran Alistair Overeem wants to face another Russian in Alexander Volkov next.

Overeem (45 wins, 17 losses) used a devastating knee to set up a TKO victory over Oleinik last Saturday, and with such win, the 38-year-old fighter would like to keep his streak going sometime in September.

“I’m going to take a little break, a little holiday break before we’re gonna start on victory number three. I’m aiming for September. Fight again September and then maybe again later in the year. But after three wins, we will start talking about the title. Not yet. It’s too soon,” said Overeem in the post-fight interview, per MMA Fighting.

Volkov (30 wins, 7 losses) is currently the no. 6 ranked heavyweight in the UFC ladder, while Overeem is just slightly behind at no. 7.

Overeem, though, is not necessarily in a mode to rush things, saying he will have to dispatch Volkov first to move up in the leaderboard and possibly earn another title shot.

“There’s no choice in UFC. ‘You choose who you fight,’ that’s not how UFC works,” said Overeem. “UFC will match you up with whoever is interesting and that’s based on rankings. To me, Alexander Volkov is still ranked somewhere there, we were supposed to fight tonight, I’m still looking for that fight and other than that — let’s do that first and then we’ll figure out who comes after.”

Overeem’s last shot at a title came in 2016 when he faced Stipe Miocic. The latter won in the opening round on punches.

From there, it has been a roller-coaster for Overeem’s UFC career, picking up wins over Mark Hunt and Fabricio Werdum although suffering setbacks to Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes.

But currently on a two-win streak, Overeem looks forward to a battle with Volkov to set up possibly more lucrative fights in the future.

“Yes, I’m still looking for that fight,” Overeem said. “I was very prepared to fight Alexander Volkov, I was looking forward to that fight. That fight did not happen tonight, but hopefully the next UFC fight will be Alexander Volkov.”