UFC Fight Night 163 start time -- Zabit vs. Kattar: Fight card, odds, live stream, predictions
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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 CBS Sports UFC divisional rankings. 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.
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 will stand across the cage from Greg Hardy (5-1). Hardy is one of the most controversial figures in UFC history. A former NFL star who was chased out of the league following domestic violence allegations, he has been fed a series of handpicked opponents who would otherwise not find themselves in the Octagon. In his UFC debut, he was disqualified after landing an illegal knee in a fight many felt he was losing to Allen Crowder. After picking up a pair of TKO wins over lower-tier opposition, Hardy decisioned Ben Sosoli last month only to have the win overturned to a no contest because he used an inhaler between rounds.
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.