It’s always good to have a backup plan. Especially for one of the biggest fights of all time.
UFC light heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier will be moving up in weight to challenge for the heavyweight title against the division’s champion, Stipe Miocic at UFC 226 on July 7th.
In the unfortunate case of an injury to either fighter, MMA Team Dagestan is reporting that top-ranked heavyweight contender, Alexander ‘Drago’ Volkov will be on standby to fill in if needed.
— MMA TEAM DAGESTAN (@MMATeamDagestan) May 28, 2018
“Alexander Volkov will be present at #UFC226 Miocic vs. Cormier,
in case of injury to one of the fighters Volkov as a substitute.”
The Russian, Volkov is fresh off of the biggest victory of his 36 fight career when he knocked out the former UFC heavyweight champion, Fabricio Werdum in the fourth round of their main event bout in March. This win extended Volkov’s winning streak to six(four in the UFC), four of which have come by finish(three KO/TKOs, one submission).
Neither fighter in the super fight between Miocic and Cormier are known for pulling out of fights often but they have before in the past. Cormier on two occasions with the first being for a rematch against Jon Jones at UFC 197 and the second for a rematch with Anthony Johnson at UFC 206. Miocic, on the other hand, has only pulled out once due to injury and that was for a scheduled 2015 clash with Ben Rothwell.
The UFC recently announced that their first visit to Russia is official and it will take place on September 15th in Moscow. The bouts headliner was initially confirmed to be the previously mentioned Werdum taking on top 10 UFC Russian heavyweight, Alexey Oleynik. However, Werdum was flagged by USADA just days later thus forcing him out of the fight and having him replaced with Mark Hunt.
Volkov was the name that was brought up most when it came to possibly picking out who would headline the event. But due to his current ranking and worthiness for a title shot, the UFC clearly had other ideas.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/28/2018.