Back in the winner’s enclosure and on the verge of title contention, Alexander ‘Drago’ Volkov has called for a high-stakes pairing opposite three dangerous strikes next. 

Scoring an impressive knockout over Walt ‘The Big Ticket’ Harris on the main card of UFC 254 on Saturday on ‘Fight Island’ – Volkov launched a perfectly placed front kick to the body of the former to seal a second-round stoppage win. The victory marked Volkov’s return to the win column after a wrestling heavy approach from Curtis ‘Razor’ Blaydes proved enough for him to take a unanimous decision win back in June at UFC Vegas 3.

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Sitting at the #7 in the heavyweight ranks ahead of the matching, Volkov attempts to regain the form which saw him capture an impressive four-fight unbeaten run in the promotion between 2016 and 2018. The Russian, who is a former Bellator MMA and M-1 Global heavyweight best debuted with a pair of decision wins over Timothy Johnson and Roy Nelson, before knockout wins over both Stefan Struve, and former heavyweight champion, Fabrício Werdum.

Taking on Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis in what ultimately proved a heavyweight title eliminator at UFC 229 – Volkov largely dominated the going for almost the entire three-round affair, before dropping a late knockout loss to the fan-favourite with just eleven-seconds left on the clock in a ‘hail mary’ effort

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Speaking with media following his stoppage win over Harris, the 32-year-old floated potential matchups with veteran kickboxing ace, Alistair Overeem, former champion, Junior dos Santos, and knockout-artist, Jairzinho Rozenstruik when asked what he wants next.

Any challenge, any guy with a big name,” Volkov said. “(Alistair) Overeem, (Junior) dos Santos, (Jairzinho) Rozenstruik – anybody who can take me back to the belt.

A pairing with Overeem was slated to for a UFC Fight Night Saint Petersburg event back in April of last year until Volkov was replaced by compatriot, Aleksei Oleinik on short-notice. 

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Whilst Overeem has spoken about how he’s willing to rematch Rozenstruik following their UFC Fight Night D.C. clash last year – the promotion is also actively attempting to pair Brazilian veteran, dos Santos with French prospect, Ciryl Gane.