‘He choked on his blood’: Russian UFC star Alexander Volkov reveals opponent was struggling to breathe after he ‘smashed his face’
UFC winner Alexander Volkov has revealed how overpowered foe Alistair Overeem struggled to breathe during his gory defeat to the Russian on Saturday, absorbing dozens of blows to the head in a fight that put both men in hospital.
“The Demolition Man" sunk to the floor after copping more than a round of painful punishment from hard-hitting Volkov at UFC Vegas 18, when the Moscow-based powerhouse noticed that he had been trying to gulp down air as he bled profusely in the octagon.
Volkov admitted that he had been "shocked" by Overeem's first attack, adding that the well-timed early assault had not "shaken his spirit" or intimidated him as he exacted a brutal response.
"In the end, it turned out [that I was able to] smash his face so that he choked on the blood," Volkov told Sport24, reflecting on his shuddering knockout victory.
"I don't know if this can be seen in the video, but I felt like he was constantly trying to either sniff his nose or something else.
"I heard that it was hard for him to take a breath. I remember hitting him hard and wondering how he stood on his feet.
"In the second round, when he suffered a huge number of punches, it is difficult to say that he was not in shape.
One of the first punches in the first round that Volkov threw in the first round shattered Overeem’s nose. pic.twitter.com/4hk8pTDB7B— Stiff_Jab🥊 (@stiff_jab_) February 8, 2021
"Take any person and hit him with 20 or 30 blows on the head. I think after this anyone would be out of shape.
"If you look at his training camp, he brought in many guys like me: two meters tall, hitting [hard]. He studied me seriously.
"It’s just that Alistair didn’t calculate that I would hit with my hands so hard and sharply, breaking through his defense.
Damn Reems face #UFCVegas18pic.twitter.com/UE4PXxIYRH— Amar Singh (The Great Towel-E) (@SkyBlue_Am) February 7, 2021
"In fact, from the beginning of the first round it was hard for me. I even doubted myself.
"In my opinion, he came out in good shape and was waiting for my mistake. Several times I came close to getting it wrong."
Volkov is hoping for a title shot after the impressive victory, which 40-year-old Overeem praised in a statement after his tactics ultimately failed.
Introducing a new contender at heavyweight 🇷🇺 #UFCVegas18pic.twitter.com/1Go6tQCfDp— UFC (@ufc) February 7, 2021
"I was a little at a loss as it was not possible to implement the plan from the very beginning," conceded Volkov.
"I wanted to work more with my legs on the body, on the head, but he studied me well and successfully blocked all my attempts.
"I understood that the less I give him the opportunity to move and think, the easier it would be, so I tried to constantly throw punches. This led to the result."Also on rt.com ‘Power on another level’: Stars tip Alexander Volkov to be UFC king after bloody heavyweight battering of Alistair Overeem (VIDEO)
The 32-year-old shared a photo from hospital after the fight as evidence that he had not fractured his leg.
“Thank you all for your congratulations," he told his fans. "I will not be able to answer all your messages.
"I have arrived at the hospital after the fight. I'm fine, I just split my leg a little. I am completely in good condition, happy with the victory, happy with how the fight went."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)