IT’S TIME! The UFC on ESPN 11 main event between Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov is about to go down. A battle at the top of the heavyweight division. The winner moves into title contention. The loser goes back to the bottom of the pile.
Round 1: Curtis Blaydes comes out and immediately scores a takedown. Alexander Volkov to his credit quickly works his way back to his feet. Unfortunately for him Blaydes is giving up and pull the fight back to the mat. Blaydes is using his weight to wear out Volkov who is eating knees to the leg while hes up against the fence. Volkov temporarily pops back up but Blaydes takes him for a ride and gets him back to the round. The Russian works his way back against the fence but is unable to complete his stand up. Blaydes is staying busy with knees but is unable to advance his position as Volkov is holding onto his hand. Blaydes has one hook in and he’s trying to take the back. Volkov attempts a kimura but Blaydes defends well and goes back to mauling his opponent. The round ends. It was a dominant one for Curtis Blaydes.
Round 2: Blaydes opens up with big strikes at the start of round two. Volkov gets off a couple but he’s eating big strikes. A huge overhand right from Blaydes who follows up with the takedown less than a minute into the round. Volkov quickly pops back up but he’s unable to get away from his opponent who drags him back down and away from the cage. Blaydes is happy to sit in the guard of Volkov and throw the odd bit of ground and pound. Blaydes takes a little break and then begins firing off huge elbows. They are back to the feet with 20 seconds left in the round. Volkov lands a body kick but is quickly taken down once again by Blaydes as the buzzer sounds to end the round.
Round 3: Both men start the round by exchanging strikes. Blaydes despite his domination in the wrestling department is certainly not afraid to let his hands go. Blaydes shoots in for a takedown, he’s got Volkov against the fence and he defends for the first time. Another attempt is shucked off by Volkov but Blaydes is relentless and eventually gets his takedown. Volkov is sat against the fence and Blaydes is happy to maintain the position without offering much in way of offense. He eventually gets to the back of his opponent but is unable to take advantage of it. Volkov grabs a guillotine choke but it never looked close. The Russian pops back to his feet with 20 seconds left but is unable to get anything off before the round ends.
Round 4: Almost immediately Blaydes takes the back and secures a takedown at the beginning of round four. Volkov to his credit continues to pop back up and actually manages to separate this time. Blaydes shoots in again and Volkov shakes it off. He’s unable to get anything off on Blaydes who gets another takedown – his 12th of the fight which is a new heavyweight record. Nothing is happening on the floor and referee Herb Dean is warning Blaydes to work or lose his position. Blaydes fires offs two shots to keep the position but he’s not doing much right now. Volkov is the busier, hitting elbows from the bottom. Dean eventually stands them up with 40 seconds left in the round. Blaydes lands a right, Volkov just misses with a big knee. Blaydes is looking tired and Volkov scores a takedown of his own at the end of round four. The Russian is landing nice ground and pound as the horn sounds to end round four.
Round 5: The final round starts with Volkov on the front foot. Blaydes is looking seriously fatigued now. He’s unable to secure a takedown and eats a big shot. Eventually though Blaydes secures a much needed takedown. The American is trying to take the back but Volkov has his hand trapped and uses it to get back to his feet. Blaydes tries for a takedown but is unable to get it. Volkov gets back to the centre but not for long as Blaydes shoots in again and pushes his opponent against the fence. The fight goes to the mat and Volkov is landing shots but not nearly enough to convince the referee to step in – despite the Russians looks of appeal. Blaydes is in top position as the clock ticks down to end this fight.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Curtis Blaydes def. Alexander Volkov via unanimous decision