The UFC matchmakers surprised everyone on Tuesday when the promotion announced that controversial heavyweight Greg Hardy has decided to step up on short notice to replace Junior dos Santos and fight Alexander Volkov in the co-main event of UFC Moscow.
It’s a massive step up in competition for Greg Hardy, who just fought to a No Contest against Ben Sosoli at UFC Boston. But Hardy says he jumped at the opportunity, and he believes that he can even knock Volkov out.
Speaking to TMZ, Greg Hardy claimed it was a no-brainer for him to take this fight. He added that if “pillow hands” Derrick Lewis can put Volkov out cold, then he should be able to as well.
“I’m excited, man. There was a lot of things that played into this decision, dude. The big one was just the opportunity. It’s the big-time fight, it’s the high-level competition. It’s what any ‘Prince of War’ or future ‘King of War’ could ever hope for,” Hardy said.
“And then second of all, somebody fell down, my teammate [dos Santos] went down, so somebody’s gotta fill in, the next man up’s gotta fill in. That’s always been my mentality, gotta hold it down for the team. The UFC always has my back. They took a gamble on me, you know what I mean? They let me in the door. So if they need somebody to fill in, then for sure, I’m about to go knock this dude out. And the last one, soft Derrick Lewis knocked this dude out. If ‘pillow hands’ Lewis can do it, for sure I feel like I can go in there and compete and knock this guy out. And he’s a monster, too.”
Greg Hardy started fighting as a professional mixed martial artist in 2018 and has so far racked up a 5-1, 1 NC record, including a 2-1, 1 NC record in the UFC alone in 2019. As for Volkov, he saw a six-fight win streak snapped when he was knocked out at 4:49 of round three when he fought Lewis at UFC 229 last October. Volkov is the former Bellator heavyweight champion and he is currently the No. 7 ranked heavyweight on the UFC roster, making him the the first ranked opponent Hardy has ever fought.
Do you think Greg Hardy will knock out Alexander Volkov, or is he in over his head?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/23/2019.