On Saturday night, the UFC returned to the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas for UFC 156. On the FX preliminary card, UFC veteran Jacob Volkmann took on Strikeforce import Bobby Green in a lightweight contest.
Volkmann holds an immaculate 6-1 record in the UFC lightweight division, which includes notable wins over Shane Roller, Danny Castillo and The Ultimate Fighter winner Efrain Escudero. In his most recent fight, the politically outspoken grinder earned a stoppage victory when he choked out Roller in the first round.
Green is another fighter who has also fared well in the big league, going 4-1 since joining Strikeforce in mid-2011. Although he hasn't defeated many upper-level foes, the Californian does have a knockout victory over Charles "Krazy Horse" Bennett to his credit.
After they likely traded the first two rounds on the scorecards, this fight was going to be decided by the action in the final frame. Green overcame the acclaimed grappling of Volkmann and sunk in a rear-naked choke to keep this fight out of the judges' hands and earn his first UFC victory.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
The terrible standup from referee Kim Winslow that shut down Bobby Green's powerful ground-and-pound during the second round. When you consider that Volkmann used a grinding top game in Round 1 but wasn't stood up despite lesser activity, the standup is quite controversial.
Thankfully, Green was able to take advantage of Volkmann's poor conditioning and pull out a rear-naked choke for the victory late in the final round.
What We Learned About Jacob Volkmann
Despite his grappling credentials, he is fairly ineffective at fighting from his back. In Round 2, Volkmann absorbed a lot of damage from his younger opponent, who used top position to drop some big elbows.
We also learned that his cardio can be somewhat questionable when fighting from his back. Volkmann usually embraces the grind, although that clearly isn't the case when he is in bottom position.
What We Learned About Bobby Green
This guy is for real. To outwrestle Volkmann is an incredible feat. To keep his composure when Kim Winslow made an early submission to our "Worst Call of the Year Award" shows that he is a true professional.
Green worked his way out of some tough spots, fought his heart out and pulled out a finish over a UFC veteran.
What's Next For Jacob Volkmann
This submission loss marks the second time in three fights that Volkmann has been tapped out by a younger, less experienced fighter. That does not bode well for his once-flourishing career.
A fight with Michael Johnson seems fitting. The TUF runner-up recently was upset by Myles Jury, and this fight would allow one of them to rebound against someone with name value.
What's Next For Bobby Green
This win speaks volumes for the Strikeforce imports. Expect Bobby Green to be given a fun fight the next time he steps into the Octagon.
A bout with the winner of March's John Makdessi vs. Daron Cruickshank contest would give Green an outstanding opponent without throwing him too far into the deep end.