Jacob Volkmann is coming home.
Jacob Volkmann, a chiropractor from White Bear Lake who sports an impressive 14-3 mixed martial arts record, was supposed to have his latest UFC fight last month in Las Vegas before a bizarre chain of events led to the card being scrapped completely. While a lesser man would have hung his head the hometown boy, known as "Christmas" (an homage to the fact that he resembled Jim Carrey's character in Dumb and Dumber), received a gift of sorts when he was re-booked to fight in his backyard at the Target Center this Friday night when the Ultimate Fighting Championship comes back to Minnesota.
Before he steps into the octagon, Volkmann sat down with City Pages to talk about the previous fight cancellation, fighting in front of his family and friends, and his campaign for presidency (no, seriously).
This is sort of old news, but when UFC 151 was canceled last month, and subsequently, your fight against Shane Roller, how did you feel?
Honestly, I felt like I was dumped. If you've ever been dumped in a relationship then you know what I mean. I actually didn't find out officially for like four hours -- after the news broke online, and I had a bunch of friends texting me. It was too bad because I was ready to go, endurance was good, and then it was just gone.
How hard is it to push forward when you have a fight date already burned into your brain like that?
It sucks. The longer you train, the better the chance you have of getting hurt. Fortunately, I've been able to rest up and stay ready. But you just never know; you need to be careful.
When did you get the call that the fight was moved to Minneapolis?
So the fight got canceled, then four-hours later I got the word that it was officially, and then probably two hours after that I got the call that the fight was back on.
Were you excited to get the news?
Actually, I had every intention of winning this fight and then calling [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva and asking to fight again in Minneapolis. So really this just saved me a step.
Your opponent Friday night, Shane Roller, is a little bit of a rival, right?
Sort of. He wrestled at Oklahoma State and was an All-American back when they were a powerhouse in wrestling back in 2001-2002, and I wrestled at the U in 2003-2004 when we were on top, so I feel some of that old-school rivalry for sure.
So what's the feeling fighting in your hometown? Are you excited?
The feeling is a little tougher, actually. The nerves go up a lot knowing that your friends and family are going to be there. You've just got to stay focused on beating the guy in front of you.
In the past, you've stirred up some controversy for calling out President Obama for a fight. With election season right around the corner, what should we plan for in your post-fight interview should you win Friday?
I've actually already started campaigning already. I have "Volkmann for President" yard signs around town and everything.
What does that mean for your post-fight speech if you win?
Well, like I said, this is Minnesota and I'm a Minnesota guy, so I think I'd rather just give them the M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A cheer instead.
IF YOU GO:
UFC on FX
Friday, Oct. 5
600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis
2 p.m. doors, 3 p.m. fight time
$50-$175; All Ages