Alexander Volkov explained the popularity of Tai Tuivasa

Alexander Volkov isn’t expecting a win over Tai Tuivasa to bring him much closer to the title.

Before UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya takes to the cage to headline this weekend’s pay-per-view in defense of his title, a pair of hard-hitting heavyweights will throw down.

In the co-main event of UFC 293, set to go down inside the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia, local star Tai Tuivasa will return to action for the first time since suffering a brutal knockout loss to Sergei Pavlovich last December.

That result followed a stoppage defeat at the hands of Ciryl Gane three months prior, sending “Bam Bam” to a losing skid on the back of an impressive and entertaining surge into the top five.

Despite that form, the Aussie still sits among the elite of the division at #6, and will look to defend his position and return to title contention at the expense of Alexander Volkov.

Alexander Volkov, a former M-1 Global and Bellator MMA champion, has the chance to fight up the divisional ladder after consecutive first-round knockouts of Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexandr Romanov.

Despite that, however, “Drago” doesn’t envision a win over Tai Tuivasa doing a whole lot for him in the context of his championship ambitions.

Alexander Volkov keeps expectations low after Tai Tuivasa fight

During his appearance at UFC 293 media day on Wednesday, Alexander Volkov looked ahead to his upcoming battle on enemy turf against Sydney’s own Tai Tuivasa. The local fans will be hoping to see their man return to his knockout, shoey-drinking ways come fight night this weekend.

But although he’s recorded notable victories over the likes of Derrick Lewis to climb the pecking order, Alexander Volkov seemingly doesn’t think there’s much to Tuivasa.

Instead, he believes that the Aussie’s popularity and prominence in the weight class is more down to his post-fight antics than anything else.

“A better question to ask (than will a win put me in title contention) is: what is making him so popular in the heavyweight division? Probably that he drinks a shoe after his wins, just this,” Alexander Volkov said. “So, I don’t see this win against him making me really close to a title shot… It more matters how I will look in the fight and how I will show myself.”

Nevertheless, while a triumph on Saturday night likely won’t put Alexander Volkov in amongst Pavlovich, Gane, and Tom Aspinall when it comes to the championship picture, a third consecutive win over ranked opposition will certainly leave the Russian knocking on the door.

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