UFC lightweight fighter, Jacob Volkmann has faced some of the toughest guys the UFC has to offer. After dropping two closely contested fights at welterweight he made the move to lightweight and has seemed virtually unstoppable in four competitions.
Originally scheduled to face T.J. Grant this Friday during the UFC 141 event, he was forced to accept a replacement opponent three weeks ago when Grant announced he was injured an unable to compete.
As a replacement, Volkmann picked up, the returning Ultimate Fighter Winner, Efrain Escudero and Jacob gave BJPENN.COM his thoughts on this matchup.
“[The late replacement] didn’t really change too much; their game plans are probably pretty similar. He’s a wrestler T.J. Grant is a Jiu Jitsu guy, so they both will shoot more and try to get it to the ground.
The only difference is I have to watch out for Efrain’s hard overhand right… I’m not afraid to get him to the ground because he is just a JUCO wrestler which is kind of like a high school wrestler.”
Probably his own worst critic, Jacob is very conscious of the fact that he needs to start finishing off his opponents if he wants the UFC to take notice of his dominance. To that he says…
“I wouldn’t be fighting if the main goal isn’t to win the belt. I have to work on my standup the most, I think that is the main thing keeping me back from fighting the top contenders. My standup is not the most exciting and I haven’t finished anybody to be honest.
They are looking for someone who finishes fights and someone who has really good stand up with knockout power. I need some work to be honest and that’s what I hope to open up some against Efrain.
I’m going to take advantage of standing if I feel it’s there, but if I start to get in trouble I’m definitely going to take it down and submit him or ground and pound. I’m not going to try and be a standup fighter when I’m not, let’s be honest I’m a wrestler and I’m going to take this guy down.
I’m going to do what it takes to win; I’m not going to just be a crowd pleaser.”
When asked if he thinks that this bout with Escudero will be the turning point for him as far as finishing his fights, Jacob stated…
“He doesn’t have as much defense for my submissions as some of the other guys… I think this is the easiest one because he is inexperienced; he doesn’t have as much experience as the other guys.”
It came out recently that Jacob isn’t too fond of Efrain on a personal level, so I asked him to shed some light on why that is.
“I was down cornering a teammate of mine at CFA in Miami Florida and he was down there fighting Mike Rio and just the way he came across he was very arrogant.
It was hard to be around him, from the second I saw him he just gave off a bad vibe. I didn’t know who the guy was but after I found out who he was and I had to fight him it was like oh ya, I remember that guy.”
When asked if his dislike for his opponent gives him extra motivation he stated…
“It doesn’t matter, who cares, I’m not going to take it easy on a guy just because I get along with him. It’s a job, you got to do your best out there because they are trying to pay the bills and your trying to pay the bills.”
As to be expected, his pick for the UFC 141 main event is fellow wrestler, Brock Lesnar and here is why.
“He’s never practiced wrestling before; I’m assuming he hasn’t wrestled before. I’m assuming he hasn’t practiced division one wrestling, if he hasn’t practiced against semi’s he is not going to stop Brock Lesnar’s takedowns, and Brock is going to run him over just like a semi.”
The rest of the interview can be found in its entirety by hitting play in the player below. When listening you guys can expect a very chatty Volkmann discuss his fight with Efrain in more detail as well as his breakdown on Cerrone vs. Diaz, Lesnar vs. Overeem and listen to him call to face the winner from UFC 141’s co-main event.
There’s so much material in the interview, just click play for you all access pass to this one-on-one session with one of the UFC’s top lightweight fighters.
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