UFC 244 just wrapped in Madison Square Garden, and it’s tough to see how the UFC could possibly top its spectacle and card. But with the state of the organization right now, however, with the current structure of the company, they have to put on a card every week, and this week, Moscow would serve as the host for the event. Featuring local favorites such as Alexander Volkov and Zabit Magomedsharipov, the fired up Moscow crowd was very happy to see their favorites in action. However, tough competition in the form of upstart Greg Hardy and experienced Calvin Kattar threatened a shutout for the Russians. However, by the end of the night, the fans went home happy, as their stars were the ones who prevailed in true hometown hero fashion.
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Alexander Volkov vs. Greg Hardy
This fight was made after Volkov’s original opponent, Junior Dos Santos, was hospitalized due to some activity in his training camp. This was extremely unfortunate as this was sure to be a great fight between two more than talented strikers. However, Greg Hardy, who just lost a controversial no-contest last month, when his corner made him use some kind of inhaler between rounds, stepped in on short notice to take the fight.
Right at that moment, a lot of suspense was taken away from the fans, since Hardy is nowhere near the level of Dos Santos, who was a former champion. However, suffice to say, he more than held his own against a top 10 heavyweight in Volkov. Not that he had an incredible performance or anything, but Hardy managed to last three rounds, and lose the decision. Still, this shows great improvement on Hardy’s part, seeing as he didn’t get knocked out or tapped out by a top 10, showing resilience.
Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Calvin Kattar
Coming on to the fight that was perhaps more anticipated than its co-main event brother. This was originally slated to be the co-main, but after JDS’s injury, it was bumped to main. However, as with all short notice card-changes, it remained a three round contest. This was to be a great bout between two fantastically talented strikers, both Zabit and Kattar have great hands, and movement.
This fight certainly delivered, the exchanges were frantic, and there was a real respect that each competitor showed for the others power. In the end Zabit took the decision after 3, 5 minute rounds, and Calvin showed him the respect he deserved. All in all Zabit is really shaping up to be one of the biggest stars in the UFC, showing that the Dagestani takeover is really happening, with Khabib a full division above him, also dominating. His unique style, and amazing submissions make him a huge draw as well, not just in his home country of Russia, but in the United States. After this win, and perhaps another ranked opponent, Zabit may just be ready for a title shot against the current champion of the Featherweight division, Max “Blessed” Holloway.