Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC Fight Night 163 blew the roof off CSKA Arena last Saturday night (Nov. 9, 2019) in Moscow, Russia.
Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Calvin Kattar, who came up short against Zabit Magomedsharipov in a thrilling headlining bout (see it again here). And Abubakar Nurmagomedov, who failed to shine in his UFC debut after getting submitted by David Zawada in the very first round via triangle choke (recap).
And of course, Greg Hardy, who suffered the second loss of his UFC career after coming up empty against Alexander Volkov, a 37-fight veteran. That said, Hardy deserves plenty of credit for showing up and refusing to roll over against a legit big man who has a more-well rounded attack than he does and has been competing in the fight game for far longer.
And he did it on just two weeks’ notice.
Indeed, many — myself included — expected Volkov to have his way with Hardy given the experience level difference, but Hardy hung tough and cracked “Drago” with some shots. Unfortunately, Greg hurt his right hand early on with one of those blows, which prevented him from delivering the power later on.
Still, Hardy didn’t let that deter him, as he went all 15 minutes against the towering big man and in defeat, may have silenced some of his doubters and earned some more respect from his supporters. Can he still improve? Absolutely, but this fight will give him the confidence moving forward and the feeling that he does indeed belong.
“Be a pro in everything that you do. Welcome to the UFC. This is just how we do things. #wholeNotherLevel #DanaWhiteShit I will get better, I will not stop,” he wrote on Instagram. “My soul requires it. Sacrifice starts now. I will not tell you how much I want it, I will FN show you so keep quite and pay attention. Monsters at work.”
As for what’s next for Hardy, that’s a tough one. While this fight showed us that he can hang with the best, let’s not start matching him up against the top 10 on a regular basis just yet. That’s why I’m digging a fight against Maurice Greene. “The Crochet Boss” — which is in the running for one of the worst nicknames in the game — recently had his three-fight win streak snapped by Sergei Pavlovich a few weeks ago.
Ranked at No. 15, Greene is still a tough challenge for Greg, and vice versa. A fight like this makes sense for both men, and Greg will likely come out a bit more confident and a bit hungrier after his second loss under the UFC umbrella. That said, it likely won’t happen until 2020, as Hardy has competed a whopping five times this year already.
For complete UFC Moscow results and coverage click here.