UFC Fight Night 163 Tips & Preview

The UFC heads to Russia this Sunday morning for another intriguing instalment of the UFC Fight Night series. Zabit Magomedsharipov and Calvin Kattar clash in a Featherweight main event, while former NFL player Greg Hardy takes on Alex Volkov in the Co-Main. We’ll preview both of these fights, identifying the best bets on the board.

Zabit Magomedsharipov vs Calvin Kattar, Featherweight, Main Event
Zabit to Win

Zabit Magomedsharipov

‘ZaBeast’ has had a very solid career to date, entering this bout with a record of 17-1. He has elite height for the Featherweight division, standing over 6’ tall. Known for his impressive versatility, he has 6 wins by knockout and 7 by submission thus far. He is a solid 4-0 since joining the UFC, taking care of Jeremy Stephens last time out.

Calvin Kattar

The American Kattar has also had an impressive career to date, sitting at 20-3 so far. He is 4-1 since joining the UFC, claiming the scalp of Ricardo Lamas last time out. Known primarily for his striking ability, 9 of his wins thus far have come via knockout.

Prediction: Zabit to Win

While this has the makings of a relatively close bout, Zabit has the slight edge in almost every category. In addition to the huge home advantage, I think he is easily the better grappler of these two. He probably also has an edge on the feet, making life very difficult for Kattar. With a wealth of potential weapons at his disposal, I think the versatility of ZaBeast gets the job done here.

Alexander Volkov vs Greg Hardy, Heavyweight, Co-Main
Volkov by KO

Alexander Volkov

The Russian veteran has had a stellar MMA career to date, going 30-7 through his first 37 bouts. Standing over 200cm tall and with hands of steel, he already has 20 career knockouts to his name. He was knocked out by Derrick Lewis in his last fight, a loss he’ll definitely be looking to rectify here.

Greg Hardy

The controversial Hardy has looked good in limited action so far, going 5-1-1 through 7 fights. All 5 of his wins have come via knockout, although a NC and DQ have come from his somewhat limited MMA knowledge. This will be his fifth fight of the year, having fought a full fight a mere 3 weeks ago in America.

Prediction: Volkov by KO

Put simply, this is just an awful situational spot for Hardy. He just fought a 15-minute fight on October 18 in Boston and is now travelling all the way to Russia? Unless he can manage an early KO, Volkov is the technically better fighter with a huge home advantage. The longer this fight goes, the more chance I give the Russian giant to win here.