Following a big UFC card, the organization the following week often likes to “hide” a Fight Night card somewhere outside the USA because it can’t help but be a bit of a letdown for MMA fans and bettors. The UFC still wants to stage cards as many weeks as possible because ESPN is paying the company billions of dollars to provide programming.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
That brings us to this Saturday for a UFC Fight Night event at CSKA Arena in Moscow. The main card begins at 2 p.m. ET and is headlined by a featherweight bout between Zabit Magomedsharipov (we’ll be referring to him as Zabit going forward) and Calvin Kattar. That fight was originally scheduled for a UFC Fight Night card on October 18 in Boston but delayed due to a Zabit injury.
Max Holloway is the current featherweight champion with Zabit ranked fifth and Kattar 11th. Zabit (17-1) is a 28-year-old from Dagestan in Russia. His lone loss was way back in 2013 to Igor Egorov in the ProFC organization. That was via armbar submission. Zabit has had five fights since joining the UFC, winning three by submission and two by unanimous decision. He last fought in March at UFC 225 and beat Jeremy Stephens by UD. Zabit is a -285 favorite for Saturday.
Kattar, a 31-year-old American, is 20-3. He surely was very disappointed the first meeting was postponed because he’s from Boston and even nicknamed the “Boston Punisher.” Kattar also has five fights in the UFC. He lost to Renato Carneiro in April 2018 but has bounced back with wins over Chris Fishgold and Ricardo Lamas, both by first-round TKO (punches). Kattar is the +225 underdog.
The co-main event is a heavyweight bout between Russia’s Alexander Volkov (30-7) and American Greg Hardy (5-1), the former defensive end for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys. The much more experienced Volkov is a -280 favorite with Hardy at +220.
Volkov, ranked seventh in the division, had a six-fight winning streak snapped in his last fight at UFC 229, a third-round knockout by Derrick Lewis. Hardy is stepping up on short notice to replace Junior dos Santos, who had to pull out due to a bout of cellulitis. Hardy just fought on October 18 and beat Ben Sosoli by unanimous decision, but that was changed to a no-contest ruling due to Hardy’s use of an inhaler in between the second and third rounds.