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Alexander Volkov: Tai Tuivasa dangerous every second of the fight, but ‘I have more techniques in my arsenal’

Alexander Volkov: Tai Tuivasa dangerous every second of the fight, but ‘I have more techniques in my arsenal’

SYDNEY – Alexander Volkov thinks he has more tools than Tai Tuivasa.

Volkov (36-10 MMA, 10-4 UFC) takes on Tuivasa (14-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 293 co-main event at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews/ESPN+ and early prelims on ESPN+.

All but one of Tuivasa’s 14 professional wins have come by knockout. Volkov is fully aware of the power Tuivasa possesses, but thinks he’s more well-rounded.

“He’s pretty dangerous with his punch, for sure,” Volkov told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s media day. “You can’t ignore this because having a good punch and an explosive opponent is really hard, anyway, for everybody. He will be dangerous for me from the first second to the end of the fight. But I have a lot more techniques in my arsenal against him, so we’ll try to use it.”

Tuivasa said he expects to find success when closing the distance against Volkov, but Volkov says that will only open up more of his game – including takedowns.

“He’ll be feeling more confident in close distance, but in close distance I will also have more wrestling skills. Maybe if he’ll be too close to me, I can throw him down,” Volkov said. “We’ll see. All this, we’ll figure it out. But I’m pretty confident in myself in any situation of the fight.”

Volkov isn’t implying that wrestling is his only path to victory. The former Bellator heavyweight champion also has an array of knockouts on his resume.

“I have my own ego in the striking because I still feel I’m one of the best strikers in the division,” Volkov said. “I feel really confident in this.”

So will Volkov stand with Tuivasa or try and take him down? The Russian fighter isn’t even sure himself.

“My ego will make me do the fight in standup,” Volkov said. “But for smart way, I think it will be better to take him down. We’ll see how it will be in the fight. I don’t know myself too because a fight is a fight and it can go any way.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 293.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie