Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight strikers Alexander Volkov and Walt Harris battled this afternoon (Sat., Oct. 24, 2020) at UFC 254 inside Flash Forum on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Harris came super close to taking out Alistair Overeem a few months ago, while Volkov’s only victory in the last two years was over Greg Hardy. In other words, both big men were essentially in “must-win” situations to remain rankings-relevant, but in the end, it was Volkov who persevered, dominating “Big Ticket” from the jump and then scoring a second round liver kick technical knockout victory.
Harris — who came in at 254 pounds looking strong and fit having lost 30 pounds since his last fight — came out slinging as Volkov backed him into the corner. Volkov continued to stalk early, with Harris firing off furious combinations, but the towering Volkov was just out of range of nearly most of them. Volkov countered with a solid straight right hand, then a front kick that pushed Harris backward. Another jab for Volkov, who was really using his length to his benefit early and often. Harris ducked his head and barrelled in with a combination, but Volkov just wasn’t there. He scored with a big right hand, but Volkov kept moving forward. Volkov with a nice leg kick, while Harris circled, looking for that one small opening. Volkov started to score along the fence, set up by a hard kick to the mid section, balling up Harris in a defensive shell. It looked like Harris might be done for, but he exploded out with wild swings to ensure he saw the second round.
Harris faked a single-leg takedown to start the second stanza, then clipped him with a grazing right hook upstairs. Nevertheless, Volkov continued to pressure Harris, drilling him with straight right hands and backing him up against the cage. Volkov then fired off a devastating front kick to Harris’ belly and you could hear “Big Ticket” scream in agony — it connected flush on the liver. Volkov followed up with some shots along the cage, but Harris was done, rolling around on the canvas clutching his stomach.
Volkov really needed that win, perhaps more than Harris. “Drago” remains a top-ranked contender and could conceivably find himself in a title fight with just a few more impressive wins like that one.
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