Alexander Volkov was supposed to meet the former heavyweight UFC champion Junior Dos Santos at the UFC Moscow. However, that isn’t going to happen, due to Brazilian’s leg infection, which forced him to pull out from this event. But the organization quickly found a replacement for him – Greg Hardy. Currently, one of the most controversial faces in the UFC and a guy who attracts a massive amount of attention. No doubt, this will be an interesting fight to watch. On one side, we have a guy who simply has to win, and on the other, the replacement whose potential is still unknown.

Preview

Volkov (30-7 MMA, 4-1 UFC) had a major blow in his last fight against Derrick Lewis and hasn’t returned to the ring ever since. That was more than 13 months ago. Back then, all he had to do was to endure several seconds until the end of the fight and to post a win, but he suffered a knockout, which damaged his chances to have a shot at the title. In all parameters, he should have won that match, but one miscalculation he had cost him a much brighter future. The former Bellator heavyweight champion is coming into this match as the No.7 contender, and he has to prove that he still has what it takes to become one of the top fighters in his division. When he became a part of the UFC, Volkov was one of the biggest prospects in the MMA, and when he defeated Stefa Struve and Fabricio Werdum, many saw a title potential in him. However, as we said, loss against Lewis pulled him back. Volkov is a kick-boxer, whose technique is fabulous, and his stamina was always at a high level. To cut to the chase, if it weren’t for that unlucky defeat against Lewis, he would probably be among the top four heavyweights.

Greg Hardy (5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is a walking controversy. The 2013 NFL Pro Bowl selection, who was suspended from playing football, and eventually decided to dedicate himself to MMA. At first, he appeared at Dana White’s Tuesday’s Night Contender Series, where he had an impressive record of all three wins by a first-round KO. After that, he immediately got transferred to the UFC. His debut vs Allen Crowder wasn’t good at all, as Hardy got disqualified due to an illegal knee-kick with the rival on the ground. His next two fights ended by first-round KOs, against Dmitrii Smoliakov and Juan Adams. In the last one, at UFC Boston, Hardy defeated Ben Sosoli via unanimous decision, but that was later overturned to a non-contest as he used the inhaler during the match, which is forbidden. As we said, a walking controversy. Hardy punches really hard, and that is his No.1 weapon. He can bring the opponent with one sudden strike, which is his best chance in this match. Other than that, there aren’t many notable things in his skillset. Except for maybe average wrestling, but that is it.

Prediction

The odds on Volkov are quite solid, having in mind the difference in quality between these two guys. We respect Hardy, but his abilities are still not tested properly, while on the other side, we have one of the top competitors in this division. BetXChange is offering 0.40 on Volkov’s triumph, and that is just fine with us. As time goes by, his stamina, and attacking diversity will provide a lot of difference in the ring, especially once he denies Hardy’s opening initiative, and he does know how to do that. He defeated much better fighters than the upcoming rival is.

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