Alexander Volkov narrowly earned a split decision victory over Timothy Johnson on the main card of UFC Fight Night 99 tonight in Belfast.
Volkov takes the center of the Octagon to start. Both men exchange and Johnson gets the better of it with a couple of punches hitting the target.
Big knee strike to the body froom Volkov. They reset and Johnson looks to come in for the clinch and is again warded off by a knee strike.
Volkov comes steaming forward with a series of left and right hands that seem to hurt Johnson, who goes up against the cage and then desparately tries to clinch up.
Volkov looking for a potential takedown and they briefly go to the mat before scrambling back up. Volkov in the back clinch, but then they separate.
Almost immediately Johnson lands a huge uppercut that floors Volkov. Johnson follows him down and starts working ground and pound, but Volkov seems to have a clear head and is defending up against the cage.
Johnson stands over his opponent and lands a bit right hand, then goes into his opponent’s guard again. A few left hooks land.
A minute of the round remaining as Johnson wedges his elbow into Volkov’s face. Johnson looks to tee off and Volkov gets his back against the cage as he looks to stand back up. He manages to do that and it becomes clear that Johnson is somehow bleeding heavily from his nose.
Volkov tries to push him across the cage, but it’s Johnson who gets control of the clinch as the round ends.
Volkov steps in with a right hand to star the second round. Johnson leaps into a right hand that doesn’t land, but he keeps pushing forward with a few more blows that do land.
Volkov now pressing Johnson up against the cage. He starts looking for a single-leg, but then gives up on it. Johnson reverses Dothe position and lands a knee. Now it’s his turn to duck down looking for the takedown, but Volkov is defending the attempt.
Persistance pays off for Johnson who finally manages to land the takedown, but Volkov is quickly back to his feet. He’s still stuck up against the cage though as Johnson leans his weight into him.
The two fighters jockey for position against the cage and Volkov takes control again, landing a couple of light knees to the leg before the referee opts to separate them.
Another lunging left hook from Johnson. It’s sloppy, but it gets him into range to unleash another couple of punches behind it.
Another flurry of punches in close for Johnson. Volkov stuffs a takedown and presses Johnson against the cage. Johnson moves away, but not before landing a glancing hook.
Three punch combo for Volkov in the final minute. Good straight left for Johnson as he steps in. Lunging uppercut for Johnson misses. He gets a final left through as the round ends.
Left hand for Johnson as he circles around Volkov. He misses with a front kick. Johnson ducks into a right hand. Volkov with a couple of punches.
Nice body kick for Volkov and then a knee strike to the same area. Volkov stuffs a takedown and pushes Johnson into the cage.
The two men exchange knees in the clinch and jostle for position. Volkov briefly moves to Johnson’s back and then they separate.
One-two for Volkov. Another right hand gets through. Big knee to the body from Volkov and the tiring Johnson goes into the clinch.
Volkov reverses the clinch against the cage. He seems the fresher fighter at this stage. Johnson manages to break free, landing a nice uppercut as he does so.
Back to striking range Johnson wings out a sloppy right hand. Kick lands for Volkov. Clubbing strike from Johnson buckles Volkov’s legs for a moment.
Back to the clinch against the cage and this time Johnson almost lands a hip toss, but Volkov stays upright. Johnson ducking in for a takedown and eats a knee, and the round comes to an end soon after.
Close fight then and the judges return a split decision verdict, with Volkov emerging with the victory (29-28 x2, 27-30).