UFC 141 prelims preview: Jacob Volkmann vs. Efrain Escudero

Odds: Volkmann -280, Escudero +210

UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem” takes place this Friday, Dec. 30, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It will be the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s final show of the year, and it is a big one.

ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) continues with our preview of the preliminary card with a look at the lightweight match-up between former NCAA All-American wrestlers Jacob “Christmas” Volkmann and TUF 8 winner Efrain Escudero.

Volkmann vs. Escudero is one of four UFC 141 bouts that will stream LIVE on Facebook Friday night starting at 7:15 p.m. ET (4:15 p.m. PT).

Jacob Volkmann (13-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) – @JacobVolkmann

  • Total 15
  • Wins 13
  • By submission 6
  • By decision 7
  • Losses 2
  • By submission 1
  • By decision 1

Thirty-one-year-old Jacob Volkmann is a three-time Division I All-American who trains out of Minnesota Martial Arts Academy. After going undefeated (9-0) on the regional circuit, including a submission victory at Bellator 7, Volkmann made his UFC debut in Nov. 2009.

Volkmann got off to a slow start in the UFC, losing back-to-back fights against Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann. Fortunately for the Minnesota native, he was able to turn things around starting with a split decision win over Ronys Torres at UFC Fight Night 21 in March of last year.

Next, he won a unanimous decision over Paul Kelly in August 2010. Then, on January 1, 2011, he won a split decision over the highly-touted Antonio McKee, followed by a unanimous decision win over Danny Castillo in August of this year.

Efrain Escudero (18-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) @effyescudero

  • Total 21
  • Wins 18
  • By knockout 1
  • By submission 12
  • By decision 5
  • Losses 3
  • By submission 2
  • By decision 1

Twenty-five-year-old Efrain Escudero was a state champion wrestler in high school and an All-American at Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz. Like Volkmann, Escudero also went undefeated on the regional circuit, fighting primarily in Arizona, he put together a record of 10-0 before being cast for The Ultimate Fighter season eight.

In December 2008, Escudero made his UFC debut by defeating Phillipe Nover via unanimous decision to become the season eight lightweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter. By September 2010 Escudero had put together a 3-2 record inside the Octagon, including a first round knockout win over veteran Cole Miller, but in a somewhat surprising move, was released from the UFC.

It must have lit a fire under the Mexican fighter who fought once more in 2010 and has already fought five times this year, putting together a 5-1 run which earned him an invite back to the big show.

The match-up: With only one knockout in 36 wins between these two fighters, do not expect to see Bonnar-Griffin 3 in this fight. Volkmann should have the edge in wrestling. It’s possible Escudero could have the edge in submissions, but something tells me Volkmann plans to find out. Volkmann has called Escudero “arrogant” and has said he does not like him very much.

The pick: I think their submission games could cancel each other out and I could see Volkmann grinding this one out; or they could both try to put their striking on display and keep it standing. You just never can tell when you get two wrestlers like this. Either way, I think Volkmann takes it by decision.

See the rest of ProMMAnow.com’s UFC 141 preliminary card previews.

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