The life of a fighter isn’t always what it’s cut out to be.

After all, these professional athletes spend hours upon hours and months at a time training for what could be anywhere from a few seconds to 25 minutes inside the Octagon. At times, the benefits don’t seem to coincide with the preparation that it takes to remain at the elite level. Nonetheless, these individuals continue to press on towards their few moments in the limelight, when their time comes. I should say, if there time comes.

For UFC lightweight Jacob Volkmann and many others, that time doesn’t come nearly enough. Volkmann, recently slated to meet fellow 155-pounder Shane Roller at UFC 151, was just one of many victimized by the vanished fight card. After UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones refused to meet Chael Sonnen on just eight days’ notice, UFC President Dana White was forced to cancel the card completely, leaving Volkmann on the outside looking in.

Jacob Volkmann (James Law/Heavy MMA)

While many began their outcry for a decrease in UFC events per year, Volkmann remains on the opposite end.

“Absolutely not,” said Volkmann in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner when asked if the UFC distributed too many fight cards in a year’s setting. “They have enough fight cards as it is right now.”

“Plenty of guys aren’t getting enough fights per year. I’m one of them. The injuries are becoming more and more present for the main reason that if guys lose, they get cut. Back in the day, you didn’t have the number of guys that we have today. If you lost a fight or two, you didn’t get cut. They kept guys around, even if they lost. That isn’t the case anymore today. If guys aren’t 100 percent healthy, they get nervous, say they’re injured, and don’t risk the possibility of being cut.”

Volkmann, an old school and traditional guy at heart, is coming off his first loss in over two years. A first-round submission defeat via triangle armbar to Paul Sass pushed Volkmann back to the middle of the pack, killing his own UFC best, five consecutive wins. However, like many martial artists, Volkmann would do anything to have that fight back. It was Volkmann’s abandoned game plan that left a sour taste in the 31-year-old’s mouth following his defeat.

“The loss sucked, but it happens. I made a mistake and he capitalized on it. You got to look at the positives of the fight. My stand-up is getting better and I’m no longer in the position where I always need to take guys down. I’m getting better and I’m definitely improving. I can’t really dwell on the past, and it’s hard to say if I win that fight if I were given another chance at it,” admitted Volkmann.

“I don’t know what [Sass’] stand-up is like. He’s always on the ground and pulling guys down on top of him. I want to know what would have happened if I would have kept the fight in the stand-up. That was my main goal heading into that fight. Not sure why I chose to take him down. It seemed like a good idea at the time because I could get good side control on him. It turned out to be a mistake in the end.”

Volkmann will get the chance at redemption for his mistake when he meets Oklahoma State wrestling graduate Shane Roller in his upcoming bout. However, Volkmann won’t get the chance to showcase his skills at UFC 151 on Sept. 22. Volkmann won’t even get the opportunity to fight on UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic on Sept. 29. Instead, Volkmann will need to wait until UFC on FX 5 on Oct. 5 to meet Roller.

Jacob Volkmann (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Despite winning five of his last six bouts, Volkmann will meet Roller, who has won just one fight in his last four outings. In addition, Volkmann will appear on the preliminary card, missing out on the chance to be featured on pay-per-view television. But according to Volkmann, he has no problem being placed on the preliminary cards. At least, that is, until he begins finishing his fights.

“It has nothing to do with respect. It has to do with who is finishing the fights. They tell us all the time that the guys who are on the main card are the guys finishing the fights. The guys who aren’t, aren’t. I haven’t done that yet, so I feel I haven’t proved myself yet. That’s something I need to do. So that’s something I understand and can’t complain about,” admitted Volkmann.

His fight against Roller will give Volkmann an opportunity to change that fact, and that’s exactly what he plans to do.

“My main goal is to get him down and tear him apart. The Oklahoma State wrestling style is more relaxed and they aren’t really an enduranced team. I’d like to submit him by the second period. He’s going to bait me as much as he can. He knows my goal and knows my background, as I have a Minnesota wrestling background. He’ll try to stay away and peck away at me. I’m going to get on him right away. I don’t care how long it goes. If I don’t get on him right away, it will give him a little more confidence the longer that he stays in there. I want to finish him as soon as I can,” said Volkmann. “If he gets by the second round, it gives him more confidence heading into the third.”

“My goal is to end the fight by the second round.”

Top Photo: Jacob Volkmann (top) battles Efrain Escudero (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

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