Junior dos Santos and Alexander Volkov are set to throw down in Russia as the main event of UFC Moscow. Russian outlet, TASS first reported the bout was set to be the main event at the CSKA Arena. However, the UFC has yet to confirm the announcement.
dos Santos is coming off of a knockout loss to Francis Ngannou in the main event of UFC Minneapolis. The loss snapped his three-fight winning streak where he beat Blagoy Ivanov and then TKO’d Tai Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis. The Brazilian used to be the heavyweight champion from 2010-2011 when he TKO’d Cain Velasquez in just over a minute. He then defended TKO’d Frank Mir for his first and only title defense.
The Brazilian lost the title to Velasquez then never reclaimed the belt after dropping two more title fights. dos Santos has headlined nine-straight cards he has fought on dating back to UFC 166 in October of 2013, and will make it 10 here.
Volkov, on the other hand, suffered his first loss inside the Octagon last time out. There, after winning the majority of the fight at UFC 229 against Derrick Lewis, “The Black Beast” knocked the Russian out with just 11 seconds left in the fight. That would also be the last time he fought as he was expected to headline UFC St. Petersburg against Alistair Overeem but had to withdraw due to undisclosed reasons.
Before the loss, Volkov was on a six-fight winning streak including winning his first four UFC bouts. There, he beat Tim Johnson, Roy Nelson, Stefan Struve, and Fabricio Werdum. He is also the former Bellator heavyweight champion, which he held back in 2012.
This will be the third time the Russian will headline a UFC card. But, will be the first time he fights in Russia under the UFC banner. The 30-year-old fought in his home country when he fought for M-1 where he was also the heavyweight champion.
Currently, dos Santos is ranked third in the division while Volkov is ranked sixth. So, this fight is important for both men to win if they want to climb the rankings and get a title shot.
As of right now, this is the only fight reported for UFC Moscow. Yet, earlier reports suggest surging Russian featherweight, Zabit Magomedsharipov will be on the card. If he wins there, he could very well be fighting for the title next.
Early on, this UFC Moscow card looks to be a good one. Stay tuned to The Scrap for additional updates regarding UFC’s return to Russia.
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The Scrap’s Cole Shelton is a full-time MMA writer for various news outlets. Make sure to follow Cole on Twitter (@ColeShelton91) for a variety of content.