Alexander Volkov taps Tai Tuivasa with sneaky Ezekiel choke

Alexander Volkov is hunting for UFC gold, and his statement win over Tai Tuivasa at UFC 293 keeps his momentum going toward the top of the heavyweight division.

In the co-main event of UFC 293 at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Volkov (37-10 MMA, 11-4 UFC) faced Tai Tuivasa (15-6 MMA, 8-6 UFC) in what proved to be a hard-hitting affair until the fight hit the ground. Volkov was able to put his slick grappling skills to use and tap Tuivasa with an Ezekiel choke at 4:37 of Round 2.

Tuivasa looked to get the action started quickly with a few hard leg kicks, but Volkov responded in kind as he utilized his range advantage. Successfully timing Tuivasa’s forward charges, Volkov was able to land sharp punches to bloody his opponent’s nose midway through Round 1. Both fighters mixed in attacks to the body during exchanges. In the closing sequence of the first round, Volkov teed off on Tuivasa as he covered up against the cage.

Tuivasa repeatedly attacked the lead leg of Volkov early in Round 2, causing the taller, longer fighter to adjust. Volkov caught Tuivasa with a clean punch that knocked him off balance, and followed to the ground for a submission attempt. Although he couldn’t secure the position and the fight returned to the feet, a few moments later Volkov ended up in full mount after catching a Tuivasa kick.

After securing the position, Volkov attempted an arm triangle, but switched to a sneaky Ezekiel choke. Tuivasa did his best to fight off the attempt, but he was trapped and had no choice but to tap.

Volkov extends his winning streak to three, entering UFC 293 with consecutive first-round stoppage wins over Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexandr Romanov. During his post-fight interview, Volkov said he hopes his run can take him to the heavyweight title before he decides to call it a career.

While Volkov is a winner of his last three, Tuivasa is the opposite, and was unable to snap his skid. He entered on the heels of stoppages against Ciryl Gane and Sergei Pavlovich.

Up-to-the-minute results of UFC 293 include:

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie

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