UFC Fight Night 163 emanated from CSKA Arena in Moscow on Saturday and featured a headline bout pitting Russian Zabit Magomedsharipov against American Calvin Kattar in a featherweight clash.
The main event was originally supposed to be a heavyweight battle between Russia's Alexander Volkov and former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos of Brazil, but a bacterial infection forced dos Santos to bow out, and former NFL star Greg Hardy replaced him.
Here is a breakdown of the card's two biggest fights, as well as a full listing of results for every bout that took place on the main and preliminary cards in Russia.
Main Card Results
Featherweight: Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Heavyweight: Alexander Volkov def. Greg Hardy by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Welterweight: Danny Roberts def. Zelim Imadaev by second-round knockout (4:54)
Light Heavyweight: Ed Herman def. Khadis Ibragimov by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Welterweight: Anthony Rocco Martin def. Ramazan Emeev by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Light Heavyweight: Shamil Gamzatov def. Klidson Abreu by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Preliminary Card Results
Light Heavyweight: Magomed Ankalaev def. Dalcha Lungiambula by third-round TKO (0:29)
Welterweight: Rustam Khabilov def. Sergey Khandozhko by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Middleweight: Karl Roberson def. Roman Kopylov by third-round rear naked choke submission (4:01)
Welterweight: David Zawada def. Abubakar Nurmagomedov by first-round triangle choke submission (2:50)
Lightweight: Roosevelt Roberts def. Alexander Yakovlev by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Women's Bantamweight: Pannie Kianzad def. Jessica-Rose Clark by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Bantamweight: Davey Grant def. Grigorii Popov by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Breaking Down Top Fights
Zabit Magomedsharipov def. Calvin Kattar
Following Volkov's victory in front of the home crowd, Magomedsharipov sent the fans home happy by closing the show with a unanimous-decision victory over Kattar.
Zabit won the first two rounds fairly handily, as he went to work on Kattar with an array of kicks and successfully stymied his opponent defensively:
Kattar entered the final round knowing he likely needed a knockout or submission to win, and that led to the fight's most exciting round.
The American threw everything he had at Zabit and had him on his heels:
Ben Fowlkes of The Athletic noted Zabit looked quite relieved when the bell rang to signal the end of the fight, since Kattar was going all-out:
Had the bout gone five rounds, the result may have been different, but in a three-round affair, Zabit came out on top.
With the win, Zabit moved his record to 18-1, with his only loss coming in 2013. Zabit is in the midst of a 14-fight winning streak. Meanwhile, Kattar fell to 20-4 and has lost two of his past four fights.
Per ESPN's Ariel Helwani, Zabit said after the victory that he wants to fight the winner of Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski, which means Zabit has his sights set on the UFC featherweight title held by Holloway.
Alexander Volkov def. Greg Hardy
In the co-main event, Hardy took Volkov the distance, but there was no question that Volkov was the better all-around fighter in a unanimous-decision win that each judge scored 30-27 in his favor.
Hardy never posed a true threat, but the fact that he was able to go the distance despite being named the replacement opponent only a couple of weeks ago was impressive, especially since he took some big shots in the latter stages of the third round:
Additionally, Hardy pushed through an injury, as he told his trainer between the first and second rounds that he hurt his right hand.
Volkov may have been able to press the issue and stop Hardy if he got more aggressive, but according to Bloody Elbow, Volkov suggested he played it safe to ensure the victory:
Helwani was among those who praised Hardy for his performance, and he noted that lasting all three rounds with Volkov was an impressive feat:
Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani
I suspect Hardy did better than most people thought he would, especially if you knew going in that it would go the distance. He clearly lost all three rounds -- and Volkov is better and more experienced -- but you can make the case that was actually his most promising showing.
It is difficult to argue with that notion since two of Volkov's previous three fights ended with knockout wins. Also, Hardy had never gone the distance before his bout against Ben Sosoli last month.
UFC heavyweight Tanner Boser also liked what he saw out of Hardy:
With the loss, Hardy fell to 5-2 professionally with one no-contest, while Volkov improved to 31-7 and bounced back from his knockout loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC 229.
Hardy clearly has a long way to go, but he likely learned plenty from Saturday's loss, and he can potentially apply some of those lessons to future fights.