UFC Moscow Start Time, TV Schedule, Who Is Fighting Today!
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back at it again today (Sat., Nov. 9, 2019) as UFC Fight Night 163 is set to go down from inside inside CSKA Arena in Moscow, Russia, featuring a Featherweight bout between Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Calvin Kattar, airing exclusively on ESPN+. In the co-headlining act, Greg Hardy steps in on short notice to take on Alexander Volkov in heavyweight action.
Magomedsharipov is one of the hottest 145-pound fighters in the game today, winning 13-straight fights including all five of his bouts under the UFC umbrella. “ZaBeast” is truly one of the most exciting fighters on the roster thanks to a style that makes him hard to figure out for opposing foes. The only problem is that he isn’t very active, fighting only once this year so far, and two times in 2018 (as well as in 2017). In his last outing, Zabit took on — and defeated — his biggest test to date, edging out Jeremy Stephens this past March at UFC 235. In Kattar, he will be facing an equally-dangerous combatant on the feet, as he can crack ... and crack hard.
Like Zabit, Kattar has been on fire as of late, winning 12 of 13 bouts, going 4-1 in his young UFC career. His lone setback came against Renato Moicano, which is nothing to hang your head low over. But with wins over Andre Fili and Ricardo Lamas on his resume, Kattar has shown that he is as legit as they come and is looking to make some major noise in Moscow. And he can do just that if he manages to upset Zabit in his own backyard. Many may be sleeping on Calvin in this fight, but if Magomedsharipov goes toe-to-toe with him, it may not end well for him. On the ground, I give the edge to Zabit, as his chokes are air-tight and have caused many of his foes to take naps or simply tap. It’s a highly-interesting stylistic matchup that should provide fireworks.
Greg Hardy will look to earn some newfound respect as he hopes to upset Alexander Volkov in Russia. “The Prince of War” volunteered to step in and fill the void on a few weeks notice after Junior dos Santos was forced out with a leg infection. That in itself earned Greg a few points from many people who have been hard on the former NFL player since making his UFC debut earlier this year. Speaking of which, this will be fight number five for Hardy in 11 months, who is looking to prove he is here for the long haul, much to the chagrin of some. With a mixed and controversial start to his UFC career, which includes a disqualification, inhaler-gate and two first round knockouts sandwiched in between, Greg is looking to shock the world by taking out one of the best big men on the planet. If Hardy can make it happen it will prove that he is the real deal and silence even the loudest doubters. That said, the fight is a huge step up for the former defensive end, as he is going from facing un-ranked fighters to taking on the No. 7-ranked guy in the world. And he’s doing it with little-to-no time to prepare.
Prior to getting knocked out by Derrick Lewis in his last fight — one he was winning up until the final seconds — Alexander was riding a six fight win streak, which includes victories over Fabricio Werdum and Roy Nelson, among others. All said, “Drago” has 37 professional fights on his resume, so he will test Hardy like he’s never been tested before, in the gym or inside the cage. Alexander will have the obvious height and reach advantage, so Hardy will have a hard time sneaking in to land a crushing blow. On his way in, he has to be on the lookout for Volkov’s heavy paws, as he has slept some of the best, including former UFC world champions. This fight carries a ton of intrigue, as “Drago” can make Hardy look like a man who simply doesn’t belong, or Greg can show that sleeping on him is simply not a good idea. We are in for an interesting one, folks, minus inhalers, of course.
The rest of the main card is nothing to get overly-excited about, though we can’t complain too much, as UFC did give us UFC 244 — which lived up to expectations — and will offer up a stacked UFC 245 PPV card to close out the year.
Original Card Vs. Actual Card:
The headlining bout was originally set to feature a 265-pound showdown between Volkov and Junior dos Santos. But after “Cigano” came down with a nasty leg infection (pictures here), he was forced out of the fight. Thankfully, Hardy was willing to play ball and saved the day. A light heavyweight bout between Gadzhimurad Antigulov and Ed Herman was set for the main card, but after Antigulov bowed out for undisclosed reasons, Khadis Ibragimov stepped in.
Zabit vs Kattar was bumped up to headlining duties after “Cigano” was forced out of his main event bout, though the 145-pound collision will remain a three round affair.
Other than Junior’s setback, no other injuries were reported for this event.
Abubakar Nurmagomedov — Khabib Nurmagomedov’s cousin — will make his UFC debut when he takes on David Zawada. Abubakar first found the stateside fame under the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) umbrella, and then eventually PFL before getting his shot with UFC. He has a 6-1-1 mark since he started fighting in America. And if he can make some noise inside the Octagon, he could piggy back off his famous last name to get some shine. That said, people might expect a lot from him based on that.
In main card action, undefeated (13-0) 205-pounder Shamil Gamzatov, will look to make a splash in his Octagon debut when he faces Klidson Abreu, who is 1-1 so far in his UFC career. Shamil has five knockouts, as well as five submissions on his resume, so the man can do it all. He also has the gas tank to take his opponent the distance and maul his way to a decision.
Undefeated (8-0) Russian bomber, Roman Kapylov, was set to make his UFC debut against the always-game Krzysztof Jotko earlier this year before he suffered an injury. Now, he will look to keep with his finishing ways — which includes seven knockouts — when he takes on five-fight UFC vet, Karl Roberson, in 185-pound action. Roberson escaped with a split-decision win over Wellington Turman this past July, but he’s going to have to bring more to the table if he wants to be the one to hand Roman his first defeat.
How The ‘Prelims’ Look:
The undercard will feature a lot of Russian flavor. Rustam Khabilov — who was at one time considered to be a rising threat at Lightweight — will look to bounce back after suffering his first UFC loss at the hands of Carlos Diego Ferreira when he takes on Sergey Khandozhko. Prior to that Rustam had won six straight and was steadily climbing the ranks.
The headlining bout will feature a light heavyweight fight between Magomed Ankalaev and Dalcha Lungiambula. Magomed has won his last two, while Dalcha knocked out Dequan Townsend in his UFC debut this past summer. Both men pack power in their hands so it could be a quick fight if the other one finds the sweet spot on his foe’s chin.
Also, Davey Grant will look to turn it around after suffering two straight losses to Damian Stasiak and Manny Bermudez when he faces off against Grigorii Popov, who came up short in his UFC debut against Eddie Wineland earlier this year.
Who Needs A Win Badly:
Derrick Lewis has already stated that the more Greg Hardy wins, the longer he stays in the Octagon and the more he makes other big men look bad. But let’s be honest, the skill level between Hardy and Volkov is drastic, as Alexander is more experienced, more technical and flat-out better than Greg in all areas. That said, most are expecting “Drago” to route Hardy, either dominating him for three rounds or getting him out early in the opening frame. Either way, most experts aren’t giving Greg much of chance aside from landing a Hail Mary knockout blow.
My point is, Volkov needs a win here to prove that there are indeed levels to this game. And if he loses to a man who started his pro MMA career just last year, took the fight on a couple of weeks notice and traveled all the way to Russia to scrap, he could have a hard time living this one down from his colleagues. And I’m not knocking Hardy, his dedication to the sport can not be questioned and his willingness to take this fight is commendable, but I just don’t see him coming out with the “W”. That said, it shouldn’t hurt his UFC stock too bad given all the reasons mentioned previously.
Interest Level: 6/10
The main event should be fire, as Zabit could climb his way into the championship conversation with a win over Kattar. On the flip side, Calvin can spoil his party and make his own moves at 145 pounds, which at the moment doesn’t have too many top contenders in line for a shot at the strap.
Also, in main card action, Anthony Rocco Martin will look to get back into the winner’s circle when he faces off against Ramazan Emeev. Martin had his nice four-fight win streak snapped by Demian Maia in his previous outing, so he is looking to return with a bang.
But whether you admit it or not, Hardy’s presence gave this card a huge boost. And love him or hate him, most will tune in for this fight. The odd part is that Greg isn’t a talker, really, so he hasn’t been flapping his gums to sell a bout or seek attention. He’s simply kept his head low and done his work. I assure you a lot of his critics will tune in simply in hopes of seeing him getting his clock cleaned. Meanwhile, the rest of the crowd is simply interested to see how he does against world-class competition.
Enjoy the fights!
UFC Fight Night 163 Full Fight Card:
UFC Fight Night 163 Main Event on ESPN+:
145 lbs.: Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Calvin Kattar
UFC Fight Night 163 Main Card on ESPN+ (2 p.m. ET):
265 lbs.: Greg Hardy vs. Alexander Volkov
170 lbs.: Zelim Imadaev vs. Danny Roberts
205 lbs.: Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs. Ed Herman
170 lbs.: Ramazan Emeev vs. Anthony Rocco Martin
205 lbs.: Shamil Gamzatov vs. Klidson Abreu
UFC Fight Night 163 Prelims Card on ESPN+ (11 a.m. ET):
205 lbs.: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Dalcha Lungiambula
155 lbs.: Rustam Khabilov vs. Sergey Khandozhko
185 lbs.: Roman Kopylov vs. Karl Roberson
170 lbs.: Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs. David Zawada
135 lbs.: Grigorii Popov vs. Davey Grant
135 lbs.: Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Pannie Kianzad
155 lbs.: Vinc Pichel vs. Alexander Yakovlev
*Fight card, bout order and the amount of matches subject to change.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 163 fight card on Saturday (click here), starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 11 a.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time of 2 p.m. ET.
For more upcoming UFC events click here.