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UFC 146: What We Learned from Jacob Volkmann vs. Paul Sass

 England’s Paul Sass (13-0) extended his undefeated record with a very quick submission win over Jacob “Christmas” Volkmann (14-3) in a lightweight preliminary bout at UFC 146.  What we’ll remember about this fight: Volkmann, who entered the fight on a five-fight UFC win streak, was expected to show some more of the wrestling skills that have gotten him this far in his career. He was able to do so early in the first round, but he would not be able to survive the submission attempts of a very crafty opponent, resulting in him getting submitted with a triangle/armbar at 1:54 of the first round. The submission Sass used to submit Volkmann was what backers of Sass were expecting. Chokes are one of his specialties and his record shows it.   What we learned about Paul Sass: Fans didn’t learn much about Sass, but in this case, that’s a good thing. “I just practice them all the time” was all Sass had to say in the post-fight interview about his submissions. Twelve of his 13 wins have come that way and he makes it look easy. “It just came natural to me.”   What we learned about Jacob Volkmann: Entering the bout, Volkmann had been outspoken on his position in the UFC and being on a win streak with little mid to high-profile exposure. Now, he will have to re-work his way back into the division. Since his style isn’t fan-friendly, it might take a while before he makes it anywhere close to a main card.   What’s next for Sass: Too bad Cody McKenzie still isn’t in the division. If the UFC wants to bump Sass to a main card on a future FX or Fuel card, he could take on an opponent he was supposed to face a while back in Evan Dunham. They were originally scheduled to face each other at UFC on Fox 2 before Sass fell out due to an injury.   What’s next for Volkmann: The UFC is likely to keep Volkmann away from any rising contenders in the division, especially now that he is coming off a loss. They will probably put him into a fight against another fighter coming off a loss, which could end up being John Cholish.   Tonight’s UFC 146 pay-per-view will feature a five-fight main card packed with heavyweights, including current UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, who will face former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. Santos, a Brazilian power-puncher, has knocked out some of the top heavyweights in the world, including Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez. He won the title last November and has gone unbeaten throughout his UFC career. Mir, who is stepping up as a late replacement for Alistair Overeem, is coming off three wins, including a brutal and impressive finish of Santos’ mentor Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. He submitted the Brazilian submission wizard with a Kimura lock in the first round of their bout at UFC 140. Other wins include those over Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Roy Nelson. Other main card bouts include Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva, Shane del Rosario vs. Stipe Miocic and Lavar Johnson vs. Stefan Struve.

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