UFC Moscow: Who’s Next In Line

21 UFC Boston Greg Hardy
Credit: Joe McDonagh/Cageside Press

UFC Moscow took place on Saturday, November 9, 2019, and marked the UFC’s second trip to the Russian city. In the main event Zabit Magomedsharipov was able to secure a decision win over Calvin Kattar. The co-main event saw Alexander Volkov edging a decision over Greg Hardy. Let’s take a look at who is next in line for these four main and co-main event fighters.

Zabit Magomedsharipov

Originally planned to be the co-main event of UFC Boston, this fight was moved to Moscow when Zabit Magomedsharipov had to back out due to injury. The UFC intended for this to be the co-main event in Moscow. However when Junior Dos Santos backed out of his fight with Volkov, Zabit vs. Kattar was bumped up to the main event. Since the change happened only two weeks out, the fight remained a three round fight. One that saw Magomedsharipov go the distance for the decision win.

With the win over Kattar, Zabit should be in the top three of the featherweight division. Making him the next fighter that should challenge for the title after Max Holloway fights Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 245 in December.

Zabit’s Next fight: Winner of Holloway-Volkanovski 

Calvin Kattar

Coming off the loss to Zabit, Calvin Kattar will be looking for someone close to him in the rankings and in a similar position to himself. That man should be Jeremy Stephens. Stephens has his own loss to Zabit, while also losing his last fight to Yair Rodriguez. Currently, Stephens remains ahead of Kattar in the featherweight rankings. The striking match-up between world-class boxer Kattar and power puncher Stephens would surely be a fan favorite.

Kattar’s Next Fight: Jeremy Stephens 

Greg Hardy

Greg Hardy stepped in on two weeks notice at UFC Moscow when Junior Dos Santos fell out due to injury. After his last fight, which was ruled a no contest due to Hardy using an inhaler, he was eager to get back in the cage and try to climb the ranks. Although Hardy lost, he still showed that he can hang in there with the best in the division. If the UFC doesn’t want to ruin their investment in Hardy they should avoid throwing him in there with another top ten fighter in his next fight.

Option 1:

That being said, Jairzinho Rozenstruik looked great in his last fight knocking out former heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski at UFC 244 just nine days ago. Although he did just take a short notice fight with Alistair Overeem on December 7,  Rozenstruik currently sits at number 14 in the heavyweight rankings. With a win over Overeem Rozenstruik’s stock rises, if he loses he likely remains in the same spot he’s in now. Either way it would make for a good fight with Hardy sometime in 2020. All five of Hardy’s wins come by TKO or KO, while eight out of Rozenstruik’s wins are via TKO or KO. This fight would be fireworks from start to finish.

Option 2:

Since Rozenstruik will be fighting Overeem, which could send him to the top of the division, another option for Hardy could be Aleksei Oleinik. Oleinik is currently on a two-fight losing streak, having been knocked out by both Walt Harris and Alistair Overeem. Oleinik is a world class submission artist and a master of the Ezekiel choke. The aspect of Hardy fighting his first submission specialist could be something that get the fans excited about. While also keeping in mind that Oleinik is getting up there in age, and if Hardy beats him that adds a 70 fight veteran to his list of wins.

Hardy’s Next Fight: Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Aleksei Oleinik

Alexander Volkov

Alexander Volkov on the other hand is in somewhat of a weird situation. His win definitely pushes him to the top of the heavyweight division. The only question is what is next for Stipe Miocic? If Miocic chooses to have a third fight Daniel Cormier, it only leaves a few options for Volkov. He could either fight Francis Ngannou for a number one contender fight, or he could actually fight Junior Dos Santos like he was originally supposed to this past Saturday. The UFC may opt to give Curtis Blaydes a rematch with Ngannou since he is still ahead of Volkov in the rankings. If the UFC looks at this in a fan’s standpoint though, they would make Volkov-Ngannou. For the same reason as Kattar vs. Stephens. The skilled, longer striker in Volkov would match-up great against the power punching Ngannou.

Volkov’s Next fight: Francis Ngannou 

Next Up For The UFC

The UFC’s next event will be this weekend in Brazil. The main event will be Jacaré Souza taking on Jan Blachowicz, in Souza’s debut at light heavyweight. With the prelims starting at 5:00PM EST, and the main card starting at 8:00PM EST, both will be shown live on ESPN+.

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