Minnesota's Jacob "Christmas" Volkmann will return to the Octagon on Saturday as part of UFC 125: "Resolution." The New Year's Day fight card will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is part of a pay-per-view, though Volkmann's fight is the first very first of the night and will not be shown live.
Volkmann, who is on a two-fight UFC winning streak, will take on Antonio McKee in a lightweight showdown. It will be McKee's UFC debut, and the wrestler is on a 15-fight unbeaten streak.
McKee (25-3-2), who is an 11-year fighting veteran, is an IFL veteran who has posted 18 decision wins out of his 25 career victories. He's often been criticized as being one of MMA's most boring fighters. However, in his most recent fight, McKee promised to retire if it went to a decision. During an event in Canada, McKee earned a TKO win over Luciano Azevedo. Since a 2003 setback against UFC vet Karo Parisyan, McKee is 14-0-1 with wins of veterans like Marcus Aurelio, Carlo Prater and Minnesota's own Derrick Noble.
Christmas, who wrestled at the University of Minnesota, started his UFC career with a pair of losses to top 10 fighters in the 170-pound division. But he's unbeaten since moving to 155, topping Paul Kelly and Ronys Torres. Volkmann, who trains with Greg Nelson at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, is now 11-2 overall.
We tracked down the licensed chiropractor before he jumped on the plane for Vegas.
How's this camp been?
VOLKMANN: It's been good. It's been like any camp; there have been ups and downs. But I've been pretty healthy, nothing major. I am however trying to get over a cold.
Who have been your main training partners for this fight?
VOLKMANN: Nik Lentz, Paul Bradley, Zach Juusola and Brandon Bergeron. Greg (Nelson) holds pads for me all the time. Jay Wood sometimes, though he's not there as often. Sherk doesn't have a fight coming