Alexander Volkov said he had next UFC heavyweight title shot, then got Derrick Lewis

MOSCOW – UFC heavyweight Alexander Volkov said he was promised a title fight if he beat ex-champ Fabricio Werdum in March.

Then the offer evaporated.

“Time changed, and it is what it is,” Volkov (30-6 MMA, 4-0 UFC) told reporters backstage at Olympic Stadium during UFC Fight Night 136.

The former Bellator heavyweight champ’s use of a well-worn cliche suggests he’s well-acquainted to the fickle world of title promises. And, of course, there’s ample evidence for why he’s been passed over.

Just four months after Volkov knocked out Werdum (23-8-1 MMA, 11-5 UFC), the heavyweight division was upended by light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier, who moved up to heavyweight to knock out Stipe Miocic in July at UFC 226.

No sooner did Cormier take the heavyweight strap than he was put on his heels by WWE champ Brock Lesnar. Sensing a big payday, Cormier lined up a fight with the ex-UFC titleholder and said it could be his last.

Cormier has said he’ll defend his light heavyweight title once before taking on Lesnar, but for up-and-comers like Volkov, the future doesn’t look promising for a title shot.

Volkov figures he can stay in the picture with a win over Derrick Lewis (20-5 MMA, 11-3 UFC), whom he meets next month at UFC 229. The stakes of the bout might not be as clear, but he certainly can’t hurt his title chances.

“For now, Brock Lesnar coming to the UFC is a big name,” he said. “I understand why the UFC put him in a championship fight, because lower ranked fighters like me, Francis Ngannou, Tai Tuivasa, we’re really good fighters, but we don’t have a good name in U.S.

“This fight gives us time to introduce ourselves. So I will use this fight the best I can use it, and we’ll wait for my title shot.”

For more on UFC 229, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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