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Two of the most prominent movers and shakers in the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight division will collide when former Dream, Strikeforce and K-1 World Grand Prix titleholder Alistair Overeem meets Alexander Volkov in the UFC Fight Night 184 headliner on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Overeem, now north of 40, shows no real signs of slowing down. The Elevation Fight Team export enters the cage on the strength of back-to-back knockouts of Walt Harris and Augusto Sakai. Despite never having won a UFC championship, Overeem remains one of the most accomplished heavyweights of all-time and has proven to be a model of consistency throughout his stellar 66-fight career. “The Demolition Man” has compiled a 12-7 record in the UFC.
Volkov has won eight of his past 10 bouts. The one-time M-1 Global and Bellator MMA champion last competed at UFC 254, where he cut down Harris with a body kick and follow-up punches in the second round of their Oct. 24 encounter. The 6-foot-7 Volkov has been remarkably durable throughout his career, as he has been knocked out just twice—Derrick Lewis and Vitaly Minakov were the perpetrators—in 40 professional appearances.
As Overeem and Volkov make their final preparations, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
40: Years of age for Overeem, who was born on May 17, 1980 in Hounslow, England—a London suburb of roughly 105,000 people.
705: Significant strikes landed by Overeem since he joined the UFC roster, placing him sixth on the promotion’s all-time list for heavyweights. Only Junior dos Santos (1,109), Andrei Arlovski (1,064), Stipe Miocic (958), Fabricio Werdum (890) and Cain Velasquez (719) have connected on more.
31: First-round finishes on the Overeem resume, accounting for 66% of his career win total (47). They include eight sub-minute stoppage victories.
135: Combined victories between the seven men—Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Curtis Blaydes, Francis Ngannou, Stipe Miocic, Ben Rothwell, Travis Browne and Antonio Silva—who have managed to defeat Overeem in the UFC.
8: Overeem wins over former UFC champions. He has beaten dos Santos, Werdum (twice), Arlovski, Vitor Belfort (twice), Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir.
32: Years of age for Volkov, who was born in Moscow on Oct. 24, 1988.
5.22: Strikes landed per minute by Volkov inside the Octagon, the sixth-highest rate for a heavyweight in UFC history. He trails only Cain Velasquez (6.48), Chase Sherman (6.02), Todd Duffee (5.93), Daniel Cormier (5.39) and the aforementioned Sakai (5.27) in the category.
21: Volkov wins by knockout or technical knockout, providing him with 66% of his professional total (32). His list of victims includes Werdum, Stefan Struve, Attila Vegh and Vinicius Kappke de Queiroz. Volkov owns three other victories by submission.
3: UFC fights in which Volkov has eclipsed the 100-significant-strikes-landed plateau. He connected with 122 of them in his unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 winner Roy Nelson at UFC on Fox 24, 135 of them in his third-round technical knockout of Struve at UFC Fight Night 115 and 121 of them in his third-round knockout loss to Lewis at UFC 229.
5: Heavyweight champions, including Volkov, in M-1 Global history. Guram Gugenishvili, Kenny Garner, Damian Grabowski and Marcin Tybura are the others. Volkov captured the promotion’s heavyweight crown with his third-round triangle choke submission of Denis Smoldarev in February 2016, made one successful title defense and then signed with the UFC.
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