The UFC’s return to Moscow will be headlined by a heavyweight fight between Alexander Volkov and short-notice replacement opponent Greg Hardy.
Hardy last fought fought in mid-October, when he took on Ben Sosoli. While this fight was initially ruled a unanimous decision win for Hardy, it was promptly overturned when it came to light that he’d used an inhaler between rounds.
Because the UFC’s return to Moscow will occur outside the jurisdiction of an athletic commission, the promotion will handle regulation itself. That means that the question of Hardy’s potential inhaler use in Moscow is one only the UFC can answer.
According to VP of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky, the answer is no.
While Novitzky is adamant that the former NFL star’s previous inhaler-use is not an anti-doping issue, he says Hardy will not be allowed to use one at any point during his battle with Volkov.
“No, he wouldn’t be allowed to use it,” Novitzky told MMA Fighting. “It’s not an anti-doping [situation]. It’s a commission rule. I think it would be okay and most commissions would be okay if you took a puff in the back before you walked out, but I don’t think any commission allows any substances other than bottled water inside [the cage].”
Greg Hardy, who was blackballed from the NFL after a domestic violence scandal, has fought seven times professionally His last four wins have occured in the UFC’s Octagon. In his debut, he was disqualified for blasting Allen Crowder with an illegal knee. He then rebounded with lopsided beatings of Dmitry Smoliakov and Juan Adams, and most recently fought Sosoli to the aforementioned No Contest.
Alexander Volkov, meanwhile, is a top-10 UFC heavyweight and a former Bellator heavyweight champion. The Russian is far and away the toughest test of the American’s career thus far.
Who do you think will win this Hardy vs. Volkov fight?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/6/2019.