On Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, the UFC returned to Moscow, Russia for UFC on ESPN+ 21. The event took place at CSKA Arena and was headlined by a featherweight showdown between Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar.
In the co-main event, two heavyweight sluggers met in the hallowed Octagon as Alexander Volkov faced the polarizing Greg Hardy. Volkov was set to make his 38th professional appearance — 31 more than his opponent. In his most recent bout, “Drago” had his six-fight winning streak snapped when, after cruising for over 14 minutes, Volkov was knocked out by Derrick Lewis in the final seconds of their fight at UFC 229 last October. It will be Volkov’s first fight in over a year after being originally scheduled to headline UFC Moscow against Junior dos Santos before the former heavyweight champion was removed with a bacterial infection.
Stepping in on 18 days notice was Hardy, the former NFL all-pro defensive standout, who was looking to get a step-up in competition. After being DQ’d in his first UFC fight against Allen Crowder, “The Prince of War” picked up back-to-back finishes of Dmitry Smolyakov and Juan Adams. In his most recent bout at UFC Boston last month, Hardy picked up a unanimous decision win over Ben Sosoli before the decision was overturned by the MSAC after Hardy used an inhaler heading into the third round.
Here is how the co-main event of UFC Moscow went down between Alexander Volkov and Greg Hardy, including round-by-round scoring. For full results of the event, check them out right here.
Leon Roberts is the third man in the cage as Greg Hardy looks like he’s going to sprint across the cage. They touch gloves and Volkov lands a leg kick early. Both guys trade punches and Volkov opens up with kicks to the legs and body of Hardy. Left hook lands by Hardy, body kick from Volkov. Hardy lands left hook and eats a jab from Volkov on the return. Jab, body kick combination from Volkov. Hardy shoots in for a double, Volkov able to stay on his feet. They battle against the fence and separate with about three minutes to go in the round. Jab to the body from Hardy and a beautiful head kick from Volkov answers. Nice combination from the Russian lands clean. Hardy pumps out a nice jab that lands on Volkov. Left hook from Volkov grazes Hardy with about 90 seconds to go. Leg kick from Hardy and Volkov answers with a stiff jab. A pair of jabs land from Volkov inside the final minute of the round. Right hand from Volkov and Hardy answers with a pair of big left hooks. Body kick from Volkov, and another. The round ends with movement. Close round as Hardy does not look like a fish out of water thus far.
MyMMANews.com scores it 10-9 for Volkov
Both guys staying patient to start the second round. Volkov lands a jab and continues to push forward. Nice combination by Volkov and Hardy ducks under for a shot. Volkov is able to stuff it and set back up. Right hand just misses from Volkov, Hardy answers with a left hook. Body kick from Volkov and Hardy responds with a calf kick. Jab lands from Hardy, and another to the body of Volkov. Good jab lands from Volkov as we approach the halfway mark. Body kick lands by Volkov countering a Hardy jab. Overhand right lands from Hardy answers a nice jab from Volkov. Under two minutes remain in the round as Volkov lands a kick to the body of Hardy. Front kick to the body by the no. 7 ranked heavyweight in the UFC. Another body kick lands from Volkov and Hardy attempts a spinning back fist. Final minute of the round and Volkov lands a clean jab. A pair of body kicks land from Volkov, then a left hand lands clean. The kicks of Volkov are adding up for sure. Final 10 seconds see both fighters staying patient a the horn sounds. Hardy will need a finish in the third more than likely.
MyMMANews.com scores it 10-9 Volkov
High kick attempt from Volkov kicks off the final round. Hardy begins to show aggression and eats a jab from Volkov. Hardy with a nice jab and it looks like he got poked in the eye. Hardy keeps going and eats a jab for his troubles. Volkov picking his shots, changing angles nicely. Leg kick lands from Volkov. Both fighters trade jabs, Volkov lands another. Left hook lands clean by Volkov. Two minutes gone in the round and Volkov lands a nice kick to the body. Head kick from Volkov, left hook behind it and a jab. Volkov scoring often here as Hardy — who may have broken his hand — needs to be more aggressive if he wants to win this fight. Volkov stings Hardy with a right hand. Under two minutes to go and Hardy lands a jab. Volkov lands a clean head kick counter to a Hardy leg kick. Stiff jab lands from Hardy and Volkov returns with a pair of his own. Another hard leg kick, and a body kick behind it from Volkov. Left hook from Volkov as he approach the final 30 seconds. Nice jab from Volkov as the final 10 seconds run off. Hardy showed he can hang, but he isn’t quite at the top-10 level just yet.
MyMMANews.com scores it 10-9 and the fight 30-27 for Volkov