Stipe Miocic is already slated to defend the heavyweight crown against Daniel Cormier in a champion vs. champion superfight at UFC 226, but once that concludes, Alexander Volkov believes he has the resume to be next in line.
Volkov earned the biggest victory of his career to date at UFC Fight Night 127, as he knocked out former heavyweight king Fabricio Werdum in the fourth round of their headlining encounter at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday. It was the fourth straight triumph for the Russian, giving him the second-longest active winning streak in the division behind only Miocic.
In addition to his win over Werdum, Volkov has also bested Stefan Struve, Roy Nelson and Timothy Johnson during his current streak.
“I think I deserve title shot right now,” Volkov said at the post-fight press conference. My winning streak is four right now. I beat a former UFC champion [Werdum] and a guy who beat the current UFC champion [Struve], so maybe it’s my time.”
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Volkov also has an idea of when he would like the opportunity to arrive. UFC President Dana White has mentioned holding an event in Russia — likely headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov — on multiple occasions, although the promotion has not yet announced anything official. When that day arrives, which Volkov believes will be later this year, he hopes to be part of the historic card.
“I will be happy if it [a heavyweight title shot] will happen in the fall at the first event in Russia,” Volkov said. “If the UFC will give me this opportunity, I will be very happy.”
First, a winner must emerge between Miocic and Cormier on July 7 in Las Vegas. Volkov wasn’t ready to offer a prediction on one of 2018’s most anticipated bouts.
“Both guys are very good. I respect them both. Daniel has a big history of wins, and Miocic is a really tough guy,” Volkov said. “For me, it’s my turn. I’ll be waiting for the guy who will be the strongest. I’ll be waiting for one of them.”
Regardless of who wins between Cormier and Miocic, Volkov has designs on being part of history.
"I would be so excited to fight for the belt in Russia. I want to bring the UFC to my country for the first time," he said. "If I can bring the UFC to Russia, I will be a fighter who has made history. I am so happy to be a part of the group of Russian fighters now fighting in the UFC. Thank you to all the fans who support me. I have seen more and more fans supporting me and it is always growing so thank you to all of them."