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Alexander Volkov learning to embrace spotlight ahead of UFC Fight Night 184 main event

LAS VEGAS – Alexander Volkov is not unfamiliar with attention around his fights. But even as a former Bellator champion getting ready for his fourth UFC main event, he’s still not accustomed to it.

Volkov (32-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC) is scheduled to headline Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 184 event opposite Alistair Overeem (47-18 MMA, 12-7 UFC) in a key matchup for the heavyweight division. With that position comes an added amount of spotlight, which the Russian fighter admits he has a love-hate relationship with.

“I’m used to this,” Volkov told MMA Junkie at UFC Fight Night 184 media day on Thursday. “I understand that I have to do this, but I don’t like all of this because I’m really a quiet guy. I’m trying to do my job to answer all the questions as I can, to speak English a little bit. I like the fact I’m in the main event because it’s a big show, big attention (and) it’s better for me, better for my future and everything. I’m enjoying this. I’m excited to be on the main event with Alistair Overeem, so it’s cool.”

With wins in eight of his past 10 fights, Volkov, No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie heavyweight rankings, is looking to beat an established name like No. 6 Overeem and help further add to his case as a title-worthy name in the division.

Volkov said he’s in no rush to become champion, though. He thinks it’s something that will happen organically, and when the time comes, he knows he’ll be ready for it.

“For sure I will be champion in the future,” Volkov said. “I’m feeling just that I’m getting better and better and going for the belt. It doesn’t matter if it happens this year, the next or in two years. I’m going for this, and I’m (giving) everything in myself to get there.”

UFC Fight Night 184 takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The entire card streams on ESPN+.

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