Interviews

Jacob Volkmann talks Politics; Wants Obama Summit and Main Card Fight

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Move over Chael Sonnen, mixed martial arts now has a new foremost political pundit.

Jacob Volkmann has made waves for the second time in consecutive fights with his comments about U.S. President Barack Obama. Last time, Volkmann earned himself a Secret Service visit after saying “someone needs to knock some sense” into Obama. This time around, Volkmann was again placed on administrative leave from his job coaching wrestling after insinuating that the President needed a “glassectomy” which by Volkmann’s definition is “when you cut a hole in the belly button and put in a glass window so you can still see with your head up your ass”.

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To hear Volkmann tell it though, he figured his comments wouldn’t result in further discipline from the school board as he didn’t necessarily say that he’d give Obama such a procedure.

I wasn’t surprised [the remarks caused controversy], I was surprised at the school placed me on administrative leave. The information they actually have on my comment wasn’t correct. I was more angered by the administrative leave thing. Because I never said that Obama needed a glassectomy. If you listen to the interview, I said ‘call me if you need to schedule a glassectomy’ and then told Joe Rogan to ask me what a glassectomy was so I could explain it. I never said Obama needed a glassectomy. I wasn’t really saying it was for him, but you can take it how you want.

Joe Rogan didn’t appear to be pleased with Volkmann’s comments during their post-fight interview, but Volkmann insists that it was just a case of taking the comedian by surprise.

I think Joe is rooting for Ron Paul, so he’s a Republican. He explained later that it kind of caught him off guard when he heard it, so he didn’t know how to react. That’s why he did what he did.

There is a reason behind Volkmann’s political sound-offs, beyond a genuine dislike for the President’s policies. Stuck in the glut of the UFC’s lightweight division, he sees it as a way to bring attention to himself and make him stand out in what is arguably the UFC’s deepest division.

I’m on the prelims and the only way you’re going to get to the main event is either you’re going to have exciting fights all the time, which I like my technical fights, but the public, the majority of them anyway don’t seem to like them as much. So I need to find a different route to get my name out there and hopefully get on the main card so I can get a shot at the title. That’s why I’m doing this.

Plus, Obama’s policies really do bother me so I do have a reason behind the whole thing. I’m not just doing it [only] to get my name out there. Did you hear that story about how there was a guy that was against him, so he sat down and had a beer with him so he could talk it over? I hope that maybe he can sit down and chat with me about his policies. But that’s probably never going to happen.
I actually did send a letter, I called, I’ve e-mailed. I did get a response back from somebody at the White House, saying how hard they’re working on his policies and how good they are. I was like ‘this is a joke’, it was a mass letter.

With an Obama vote clearly not being in Volkmann’s future, he somewhat surprisingly doesn’t sound all that excited with anyone from the Republican field either.

I have a hard time with any of them, to be honest. I saw the Iowa primary, the thing was a joke. They were just sitting there pointing fingers at each other. The only person that wasn’t getting in to the whole finger-pointing was Ron Paul, but I don’t think he has a chance. I think Romney’s going to win. But [Romney] didn’t really impress me at all.

When asked to pick one candidate he favours, he echoes the sentiments of Rogan and Jon Fitch in his support of Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

I’m rooting for Ron Paul but I don’t think he has a chance. He just doesn’t seem to care about the pointing fingers part of politics. You’ve always got a politician who puts the blame on the other ones saying ‘They did this, they did that. You should vote for me because they did this.’ He never does that. He just sticks to his beliefs and he doesn’t really point fingers. He doesn’t get into the mudslinging part of campaigning and I like that.”

With a dearth of candidates to Volkmann’s liking, one has to wonder if he plans on making his “Volkmann For President” t-shirt into a reality. The MMA world has already seen Chris Lytle move from the cage to the political arena, why not Volkmann?

No. That’s not something I want to do. It would be too frustrating. I’d get too mad. I’d be yelling at people all the time.

Volkmann is currently riding a five fight winning streak inside the UFC, yet his name isn’t mentioned in the title picture, nor is he placed on the main card for pay-per-view events. When asked about this, Volkmann is blunt in his assesment.

It’s the fact that you’ve got some turd out there and all he wants to see is a knockout or some blood out there. That’s not my style. I’m going to stick to my guns. I’m a wrestler, I like to get the guy to the ground and ground and pound or work for a submission. Obviously I haven’t had a submission yet, but I’ve come close quite a few times. But that’s the reason. Those fans are the guys buying pay-per-view’s and those are the ones that are complaining about me. That’s why I’m not moving up in the ranks.

Changing his style for something more crowd-pleasing isn’t something Volkmann is prepared to do, however.

No, I want to keep my job. I don’t want to be standing with someone that’s better in the stand-up than me and lose.”

 I’ve been working on [striking] every day. The thing is confidence. When I’m practicing, I have that confidence in the gym. But for some reason it’s not following over to the cage. It’ll catch up, I’ll get the confidence. It’s just a matter of time. Maybe I have to lose the first round and feel the pressure before I can open up. Who knows?
It seems to be working. I’ve won five in a row. I’m going to stick with what works and work with my trainer on the stuff I need to work on. It’ll come together when it’s supposed to.
His next opponent has yet to be determined, as the UFC brass has yet to get back to him. Volkmann recently made the move to relieve his manager of his dutues and assume all negotiating responsibilities himself.

I’m hoping to have 3 more fights [this year]. Hopefully I don’t have a seven and a half month break like last time because of my comments.

I actually got rid of my manager. I made enough money last year that my student loans are due now, because I was under “economic hardship”.  So now I have these expenses that I didn’t have the last couple of years and I had to get rid of my manager, which kind of sucks because he’s a good guy and he was doing a decent job, Monte Cox. So now I have to talk to UFC myself and I haven’t heard back from them.
At the very least, Volkmann was spared a visit from the Secret Service in this latest round of controversy. While he described the initial meeting with them as pleasant, there was one moment that gave him pause.
One guy was in a suit and tie and he had an overcoat on, he was being escorted by a local cop. The cop had his hand on the gun, ready to shoot me. I was like ‘are you kidding me?’ At least it wasn’t a guy from DC that flew out, it was a guy from Minnesota Secret Service that came out. So at least the taxpayers weren’t paying for a plane ticket for that guy to come out.
Always thinking of the taxpayer. Maybe Volkmann has a future in politics after all.
Buy the “Volkmann for President” t-shirt here.
Follow Volkmann on Twitter: @JacobVolkmann

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