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7 Feb, 2021 11:33

‘Power on another level’: Stars tip Alexander Volkov to be UFC king after bloody heavyweight battering of Alistair Overeem (VIDEO)

‘Power on another level’: Stars tip Alexander Volkov to be UFC king after bloody heavyweight battering of Alistair Overeem (VIDEO)

Russian powerhouse Alexander Volkov hammered Alistair Overeem at UFC Vegas 18 before comforting his fallen foe in the octagon – and rival fighters joined the likes of footballer Artem Dzyuba in hailing his fearsome performance.

"Drago" inflicted a one-sided beating on the outgunned Overeem, punishing the Dutchman with eye-catching jabs that left his opponent's face in a mess as he struggled to defend himself at the end of his second-round defeat.

The comprehensive victory continued Volkov's claims to challenge for the heavyweight crown, having knocked out Walt Harris in the second round of their fight on the undercard of countryman Khabib Nurmagomedov's win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October.

"I saw his face: he had a lot of cuts and blood," said Volkov, who took to his knees to console veteran victim "The Destruction Man" in the octagon before earning a $50,000 Performance of the Night reward.

"I was waiting for a good punch and I did it. I will be better. I am working on all my skills that I didn't [work on] before and am becoming better."

Russia captain Dzyuba enthusiastically congratulated Volkov on Instagram, and Bellator veteran Alexander Shlemenko said Volkov "knows what it means to be a champion."

"Now he has already defeated almost everyone, gained weight, changed," Shlemenko told Championat.

"Volkov is stronger now than he was. I think it's only a matter of time - he will be the champion of the UFC."

Number one-ranked UFC heavyweight Francis Ngannou, who Volkov has accused of dodging him in the past, issued a warning.

"Good job, Volkov," he applauded. "You're now playing on the big men field. Be careful - it's slippery."

Former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz noted that "the power is just on another level" as he watched the fight, while UFC heavyweight Juan Espino said that Volkov was "next in line for a title shot" and bantamweight Aljamain Sterling praised Curtis Blaydes for earning a decision victory over Volkov in June.

"Volkov is an enormous man," said Sterling. "Great stoppage. Shows how good Blaydes' wrestling is. A guy that tall and big isn’t easy to get down."

At 32, Volkov is clear about his ambitions. "I want to fight for the belt, for sure," he said.

"We will have some good fights in the future and we will see what my place will be. I surely want a title shot."

Also on rt.com ‘We’ll see’: Russian UFC champ Petr Yan reacts to rival Cory Sandhagen calling him out after stunning flying knee knockout (VIDEO)