Volkmann Expects “Tough Fight” With Grant, Says Bout With Castillo “Probably the Easiest” in UFC
While the spotlight has been understandably focused on the title prospects of UFC lightweights like Clay Guida, Ben Henderson and Donald Cerrone as of late, Jacob Volkmann is hoping to insert his name in the mix over the coming months. Since the accomplished wrestler and former welterweight dropped down to 155 pounds last year, Volkmann has won four straight fights, and will go for his fifth consecutive win when he faces TJ Grant at UFC 141.
“I don’t have doubts about getting to the top ten in the future, but I have to keep winning,” Volkmann told FCF, when asked if he believes a win over Grant will entrench a future match-up with one of the divion’s top ranked fighters. “I don’t know. Who knows who they’re going to give me next. I can just hope that I get a top ten guy.”
“I was hoping to get one this time,” Volkmann added. “But if I don’t get one next time I’ll be a little more frustrated that’s for sure.”
While the three time NCAA All American wrestler has not fought a top ten ranked fighter yet, Volkmann is coming off a dominant, unanimous decision win over Danny Castillo in August. Castillo was riding high into the bout, as the Team Alpha Male fighter had won three straight fights, which included a decision win over veteran Joe Stevenson in March.
“No, not really,” Volkmann responded when asked if he believed his win over Castillo was one of the more important in his career to date. “He was probably the easiest fight I’ve had in the UFC so far.”
“He wasn’t very strong,” Volkmann furthered about the fight, which saw the Minnesota fighter overwhelm Castillo with his wrestling and top game. “I thought he would be stronger. I thought Rony Torres was probably one of the better fighters I’ve had at lightweight….when I got Castillo to the ground it was pretty easy to control him.”
Prior to Volkmann’s win over Castillo, he took on Maximum Fighting Championship lightweight champ Antonio McKee, and became the first man to defeat the veteran in 15 fights.
“He was really boring to fight because he kept on backing up so darn much,” Volkmann noted about his UFC 125 match-up with McKee, which saw him emerge with a split decision win. “It was pretty easy to defend his shots, except in the third round, I kind of gave that one to him. I don’t know why I did that.”
Of course, in order to continue his recent successes, Volkmann will have to get by the experienced TJ Grant, another former welterweight. In October, the Canadian fighter made his lightweight debut against Shane Roller, and won by third round submisison.
“I can’t underestimate this guy,” Volkmann said about Grant, who dropped down to lightweight after losing by unanimous decision to Ricardo Almeida last December. “He’s going to be a tough fight.”
“He’s well rounded, but his ground is probably his best,” Volkmann added about the BJJ brown belt. “The game plan is to probably stand with this guy, and if it’s not going so well, take him to the ground. I don’t have any problems controlling the grapplers on the ground. I’m not too afraid of the submissions.