UFC on ESPN+ 21 card in Moscow, Russia was expected to be headlined by #7 ranked Alexander Volkov taking on former UFC heavyweight champion and #4 ranked Junior ‘Cigano’ Dos Santos on November 9.
However it was announced that Dos Santos has been forced to withdraw as he had been hospitalized with an infection. With the main event in jeopardy, in came ‘Prince of War’ for the rescue as controversial MMA figure Greg Hardy has decided to step in on 18 days notice to fight Volkov. Hardy shares training ground with Dos Santos at the American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida.
Interestingly Hardy is fresh off his victory over Ben Sosoli via unanimous decision last week. Hardy’s win however was switched to ‘No Contest’ as he was spotted using an inhaler between the second and third round without being aware that it is prohibited. Despite going the distance in his last fight, Hardy decided to step in.
“I’m excited. There were a lot of things that played into this decision and the big one was just the opportunity,” Hardy said. “This is a big time fight, this is high level competition. This is what any Prince of War or future King of War could ever hope for. And second of all, just somebody fell down. My teammate went down so somebody’s got to fill in. The next man up had got to fill in and that’s just always been my mentality, to hold it down for the team.”
Also interestingly, former title challenger Francis ‘The Predator’ Ngannou also teased to replace Dos Santos on social media but Hardy decided to get the nod instead.