If you’ve been waiting for controversial heavyweight fighter Greg Hardy to take a meaningful step up in competition then your moment has come in a big way as the ex-NFL player has agreed to step in on short notice to fight Alexander Volkov at UFC Fight Night 163 in Moscow, Russia on November 9th.
That means Hardy has just over two weeks to prepare for what is by far and away his toughest test to date inside the Octagon, not to mention the fact that he only fought this past weekend, where he earned a unanimous decision victory over Ben Sosoli, only to then see the result amended to a no-contest due to having used an inhaler between rounds.
Hardy steps in for Junior dos Santos, who was originally scheduled to headline the card against Volkov, who will be fighting for the first time since suffering a knockout loss to Derrick Lewis a year ago.
That loss came just 11 seconds before the end of a fight that Volkov had been handily winning up until that point and ended his six-fight winning streak – four of which had come inside the UFC’s Octagon.
Along the way Volkov had defeated the likes of Roy Nelson, Stefan Struve and Fabricio Werdum, and so he’ll fancy his chances against Hardy, who is still very much a work in progress and only holds wins over unheralded opponents like Juan Adams and Dmitry Smolyakov.
With Volkov vs. Hardy in place, UFC Fight Night 163 proceeds with a card that also features a major featherweight co-main event as two of the division’s top contenders Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar lock horns in a fight with potential title implication.