'The Demolition Man' was coming off an important win over Augusto Sakai that saw him propel to No.5 in the heavyweight rankings. On the other hand, Volkov had defeated Walt Harris in his previous outing at UFC 254 to return to the win column.
It was a high-profile heavyweight bout between the two top contenders. Both the men were looking to break into the title picture which currently involves Stipe Miocic, Francis Ngannou, and Jon Jones.
Overeem had previously hinted that he may hang up his gloves after having one final go at the heavyweight strap. The 40-year-old has enjoyed a two-decade-long career with 67 professional MMA fights under his belt.
Overeem joined UFC in 2011, and fought for the title on one occasion in 2016 at UFC 203. The Demolition Man fought Stipe Miocic, but succumbed to defeat in the first round via knockout.
Volkov showcased his clinical striking against Overeem, as the Russian started dominating from the first minute of the fight. 'Drago' gave his Dutch opponent no chance of a comeback after he consistently pressured Overeem and pushed him against the fence using jabs and straight rights from range.
Overeem had no response to Volkov's heavy punches, which forced the referee to halt the fight in the second round.
The co-main event bout which featured Cory Sandhagen and Frankie Edgar, resulted in a stunning knockout win for 'The Sadman'. Sandhagen is likely to secure a title shot with a huge victory over Edgar.
UFC Vegas 18 full results
Clay Guida defeated Michael Johnson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Alexandre Pantoja defeated Manel Kape via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
Beneil Dariush defeated Carlos Diego Ferreira via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Danilo Marques defeated Mike Rodríguez via submission in the second round
Devonte Smith defeated Justin Jaynes via TKO in the second round.
Karol Rosa defeated Joselyne Edwards via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Lara Procópio defeated Molly McCann via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Seung Woo Choi defeated Youssef Zalal via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
Timur Valiev defeated Martin Day via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Ode Osbourne defeated Jerome Rivera via knockout in the first round.