We learned a lot from the UFC Moscow fights this past weekend.
Zabit Magomedsharipov has the potential to join Israel Adesanya as the next young star in the UFC. We also know now that Greg Hardy can fight.
Before the promotion takes off to Brazil, let’s take a minute look back at Saturday’s fights and see what’s next for the fighters on this Matchmaker Monday.
Zabit Magomedsharipov, featherweight
Result: Defeated Calvin Kattar via unanimous decision
Who’s next? Winner of Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski
Magomedsharipov has all the tools to be a star for the UFC. He’s undefeated in the promotion, he’s young and each fight he gains more and more fans.
He also made his way through the rankings and now he’s earned a title fight. Everyone ranked in front of him has already lost to Holloway and two of them are no longer in the division. However, that’s not the only reason why he’s next.
Standing over six feet tall he would give Holloway something he hasn’t experienced before, as Holloway would be the shorter fighter. I know it sounds like I’m writing off Volkanovski’s chances against Holloway, but how could you not?
Calvin Kattar, featherweight
Result: Lost to Zabit Magomedsharipov via unanimous decision
Who’s next? Jeremy Stephens
Nobody write Kattar off. He can definitely end up making a run in the division, but coming off a loss and being ranked outside of the top 10, he’s going to have some work to do.
Stephens would be a good stepping-stone. He’s a veteran, who is a fan favorite and he’s tough as nails. Whoever would win that match up would have some momentum in order to gain some ground in the division.
Alexander Volkov, heavyweight
Result: Defeated Greg Hardy via unanimous decision
Who’s next? Derrick Lewis
I believe Volkov is the real deal. He’s tall, long and knows how to strike. Look no farther then when he knocked out former champion Fabricio Werdum. While you might scratch your head looking at his record prior to the UFC, he’s 5-1 in the organization.
That one loss came at the hands of Derrick Lewis. Volkov was winning that fight before Lewis knocked him out with less than 10 seconds left in the fight.
In all reality you can match up Volkov with anyone ranked in front of him and it’s a good match up. However, I think Lewis owes Volkov a rematch given how their first fight went.
Greg Hardy, heavyweight
Result: Lost to Alexander Volkov via unanimous decision
Who’s next? Tai Tuivasa
Even in defeat Hardy was victorious. He showed that he can fight and that he has skill. Every time he’s stepped into the octagon he’s looked better and better.
Now that he proved himself I think he deserves someone creditable. Tuivasa fits the bill. He’s popular, mainly for drinking beer out of people’s shoes after a win, but he’s good fighter. He was ranked before his recent three fight losing streak. This fight makes sense and whoever wins can fight someone in the top 15 next.