When an injury to Junior dos Santos forced the former heavyweight champion out of his planned UFC Fight Night 163 main event with Alexander Volkov, it forced the UFC to adapt. Volkov landed a new, controversial opponent, and the co-main event featuring featherweights Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar was given the bump to main event status. The event, which takes place at CSKA Arena in Moscow, may be short on fights featuring big names, but the top end of the card is not lacking in intrigue.
Magomedsharipov (17-1) currently sits as the No. 4 ranked featherweight in the. His lone loss came in 2013 and he is now riding a 13-fight winning streak, including five straight in the UFC Octagon. In his most recent outing, Magomedsharipov picked up the biggest win of his career, decisioning Jeremy Stephens at UFC 235 in March.
Kattar (20-3) is a fighter right on the fringe of the top 10, with a 4-1 Octagon record and wins over established names such as Ricardo Lamas, Shane Burgos and Andre Fili. While Magomedsharipov has three submission wins in his five UFC bouts, Kattar has favored his striking game with three TKO wins in his own five outings.
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The main event promises good action with significant impact to the 145-pound division, but it’s the heavyweight co-feature that is likely to grab the bigger headlines. Volkov (30-7) is ranked No. 7 at heavyweight after having a six-fight winning streak snapped in his most recent outing, a knockout loss in the final seconds of a bout he was otherwise winning against Derrick Lewis. Prior to the loss to Lewis, Volkov had scored a career-best knockout win over former champ Fabricio Werdum.
Volkov’s opponent is someone fight fans have grown accustomed to seeing in the Octagon this year in Greg Hardy. The former NFL defensive end who has made the transition to MMA after legal trouble and allegations of domestic abuse will be making his fifth walk to the Octagon on Saturday night, the most by any fighter in 2019.
Fans have been waiting to see what would happen when Hardy took a step up in competition, which he certainly is against Volkov.
Also returning on this card are some fan favorites like Danny “Hot Chocolate” Roberts and Anthony Rocco Martin. Roberts suffered a brutal knockout loss to Michel Pereira last time out and is looking to bounce back against Zelim Imadaev. Martin lost a decision to Demian Maia and hopes to rebound against Ramazan Emeev.
UFC Fight Night 163 viewing information
Date: Nov. 9, 2019 | Start time: 2 p.m. ET
Location: CSKA Arena — Moscow, Russia
Here’s the fight card for UFC Fight Night 163 with the latest odds from MGM.
UFC Fight Night 163 card, odds
Zabit Magomedsharipov -300
Calvin Kattar +240
Alexander Volkov -270
Greg Hardy +200
Zelim Imadaev -220
Danny Roberts +170
|Khadis Ibragimov -143||Ed Herman +115||Light heavyweight|
|Ramazan Emeev -160||Anthony Rocco Martin +130||Welterweight|
|Shamil Gamzatov -200||Klidson Farias de Abreu +160||Light heavyweight|
Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Calvin Kattar: Magomedsharipov has a dangerous submission game, but Kattar hasn’t been submitted in more than a decade. Kattar has stopping power but Magomedsharipov has never been knocked out. So the best tools for both men may not lead to a stoppage. Then again, Kattar stopped Fishgold and Burgos and neither man had been knocked out prior. But Magomedsharipov has good leg kicks and more than capably handled the bombs of Jeremy Stephens, which is a good indicator he can handle Kattar in a hometown bout. Pick: Zabit Magomedsharipov via UD