Volkmann stays firm on Prez bashing

The former wrestler was in hot water after publicly criticizing Barack Obama, but life has returned to normal a month later.

UFC fighter Jacob Volkmann speaks to a reporter about the suspension of his coaching license on Sunday at a Gopher wrestling meet in the Sports Pavilion.

Image by Simon Guerra

UFC fighter Jacob Volkmann speaks to a reporter about the suspension of his coaching license on Sunday at a Gopher wrestling meet in the Sports Pavilion.

by Derek Wetmore

Not many high school coaches have had the displeasure of a Secret Service visit interrupting a wrestling practice.

But then again, not many high school wrestling coaches have said publicly that they would like to âÄúknock some sense into that idiotâÄù about President Barack Obama.

Former Gophers All-American Jacob Volkmann, an Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor, coaches the White Bear Lake Area High School wrestling team two days a week. After winning his most recent fight with Antonio McKee on Jan. 1 at UFC 125, Volkmann was asked who heâÄôd like to fight next.

The answer garnered a national spotlight âÄî and also landed Volkmann in some hot water.

Volkmann first threw out the name of a fellow UFC fighter but said that it really didnâÄôt matter. Then he rescinded his statement and took aim at the president.

âÄúActually, Obama,âÄù Volkmann said to a reporter, indicating his hopeful next match. âÄúHeâÄôs not too bright âĦ Like the âÄòMaking Home AffordableâÄô plan and then his health care plan; someoneâÄôs got to knock some sense into that idiot.âÄù

A White Bear Lake Area Schools official said that Volkmann was put on paid administrative leave following his comments until an undefined internal investigation had been completed. She would not disclose information about the investigation or the results, but Volkmann was reinstated roughly two weeks ago upon its conclusion.

Some felt the indignation was ill-informed at best and idiotic or senseless at worst. But Volkmann says his life outside the public eye might justify his message.

Volkmann started his own chiropractic firm two years ago. As an insurance provider, he said heâÄôs against the idea of insurance companies having significant amounts of power, especially when it comes to the ability to deny claims and deny coverage to providers.

The three-time All-American, who was part of the GophersâÄô first-ever national title in 2001, was back on campus Sunday when Minnesota handed rival Wisconsin its first Big Ten loss.

Volkmann signed autographs and talked with fans before the dual.

âÄúItâÄôs pretty obvious that only Republicans came and got my autograph,âÄù Volkmann said with a laugh. âÄúI didnâÄôt get anybody lecturing me.âÄù

Several older autograph seekers encouraged Volkmann and had jeers of their own for ObamaâÄôs policies.

In addition to the Secret Service visit, Volkmann said he received some angry messages from people criticizing his comments. He said the criticism doesnâÄôt bother him and that heâÄôll continue to speak his mind as long as heâÄôs given the platform on which to do so.

âÄúThe only negative [effect] came from the school, where White Bear Lake suspended me,âÄù he said. âÄúOther than that, it was all good because there are so many people looking at me right now, whereas before, I was not very known at UFC.

âÄúAnd now IâÄôm pretty well-known.âÄù

The popularity will not only help VolkmannâÄôs UFC career by selling more tickets and pay-per-view subscriptions, but it should also help his private chiropractic firm and make his life a bit more hectic, for better or worse.

With assistant coaching back in the mix, a promising UFC career (heâÄôs 12-2 lifetime), and his private business, Volkmann said he rarely has time for his family while heâÄôs training.

But Volkmann said he plans on retiring from UFC in five years to focus on other pursuits such as coaching, chiropractic work and spending time with his wife and three kids.

âÄúMy family kind of gets cut short; it sucks there, but itâÄôs going to be that way for the next five years,âÄù he said. âÄúI told my wife sheâÄôs got to just hang in there because itâÄôs going to suck. But after that it should be easier.âÄù

Volkmann, whoâÄôs nicknamed âÄúChristmasâÄù for his resemblance to Jim CarreyâÄôs character Lloyd Christmas in âÄúDumb and Dumber,âÄù is among a group of former Minnesota wrestlers like Brock Lesnar, Cole Konrad and Nik Lentz who have successfully made the jump from wrestling for the Gophers to competing in professional fighting circuits.

Volkmann has yet to announce his next fight but told sherdog.com he plans to dedicate the bout to âÄúthe Obama lovers.âÄù