Two great finishers, Alexander Volkov and Alistair Overeem, entered the octagon in the main event of UFC on Vegas 18 Saturday night at the UFC Apex.

Volkov (33-8-0) exited the octagon closer to a UFC heavyweight title shot after stopping Overeem (47-18-0, 1NC) in the second round after nearly putting him away late in the first round with a late barrage.

Volkov, who stands 6-7 with an 80-inch reach went to work early with kicks to the body of the 6-5 veteran Overeem, knowing he was a slow starter that was difficult stop once he got going.

In the second round, a left by Volkov dropped Overeem, where followup strikes forced referee Jason Herzog to call the bout at 2:06.

With the win, Volkov likely moves into the top 5 rankings and moves closer to a potential title shot with champion Stipe Miocic.

Overeem, 40, and his push to add the UFC heavyweight title to his DREAM, Strikeforce, and K-1 belts, looks distant now with the defeat. There is now only the improbably small chance  that an injury or a COVID-19 related situation could potentially place him near a title shot.

Beneil Dariush and Carlos Diego Ferriera earned Fight of the Night while Volkov and Cory Sandhagen earned performances of the night. Each fighter earned a $50,000 USD bonus.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the main card.

In case you missed the prelims:

ODE OSBOURNE DEF. JEROME RIVERA VIA KO (PUNCHES) R1 0:26

TIMUR VALIEV DEF. MARTIN DAY VIA UD (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)

SEUNG WOO CHOI DEF. YOUSSEF ZALAI VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

LARA PROCOPIO DEF. MOLLY MCCANN VIA UD (29-27, 29-28, 30-27)

KAROL ROSA DEF. JOSELYNE EDWARDS VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

DEVONTE SMITH DEF. JUSTIN JAYNES VIA TKO (DOCTOR’S STOPPAGE) R2 3:38

MAIN CARD

DANILO MARQUES VS. MIKE RODRIGUEZ 

WINNER: DANILO MARQUES VIA TECHNICAL SUBMISSION (RNC) R2 4:52

Andrews: Rodriguez just could not keep the fight on the feet, full marks for not tapping out. Good win for Marques.

#10 CARLOS DIEGO FERREIRA VS. #13 BENEIL DARIUSH 

WINNER: BENEIL DARIUSH VIA SD (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BENEIL DARIUSH VIA UD 

Andrews: Boy, did Dariush’s versatility save him. Grappling and just enough gas in the tank. Another good win.

#5 ALEXANDRE PATOJA VS. MANEL KAPE

WINNER: ALEXANDRE PATOJA VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALEXANDRE PATOJA VIA UD

Andrews: Kape needed more time to cook, but credit Patoja for using his grappling and experience to grind it out.  

MICHAEL JOHNSON VS. CLAY GUIDA 

WINNER: CLAY GUIDA VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MICHAEL JOHNSON VIA UD 

Andrews: Guida’s gas tank more than held up. It might be time for both of them to hang them up.

#2 CORY SANDHAGEN VS. #4 FRANKIE EDGAR

WINNER: CORY SANDHAGEN VIA TKO (FLYING KNEE) R1 0:26

ANDREWS PREDICTION: CORY SANDHAGEN VIA TKO 

Andrews: Wow! I pretty much called it, but I didn’t expect it to be that early. Give that man a title shot.

MAIN EVENT

#5 ALISTAIR OVEREEM VS. #6 ALEXANDER VOLKOV

WINNER: ALEXANDER VOLKOV VIA TKO (STRIKES) R2 2:06

ANDREWS PREDICTION: Alistair Overeem 

Andrews: Wow. Volkov used his height and reach to nullify Overeem with good strikes. Drago is for real.

@kenaiandrews

UFC Vegas 18: Alexander Volkov uses aggressive striking to stop Alistair Overeem