Former Bellator MMA and M-1 Global heavyweight champion, Alexander ‘Drago’ Volkov, and Walt ‘The Big Ticket’ Harris is slated for UFC 254 on October 24th. – with a lightweight title unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov, and interim gold holder, Justin Gaethje booked to headline the event.
Russian striker, Volkov last featured at UFC Fight Night Vegas, losing a majorly one-sided unanimous decision to Curtis Blaydes in a main event clash.
Also headlining in his last outing, the returning Harris started well against decorated kickboxer, Alistair Overeem – before dropping a second-round ground-and-pound knockout. The May pairing served as Harris’ first Octagon walk since the tragic death of his stepdaughter, Aniah Blanchard. News of the targeted tie was initially reported by, Alexey Safonov on Twitter.
Holding a 5-2 promotional record, Moscow native, Volkov made a fast track to the heavyweight title, scoring wins over Timothy Johnson, Roy Nelson, Stefan Struve, and former titleholder, Fabrício Werdum. Stopping him in his tracks – heavy-hitter, Derrick Lewis who scored an incredible, late fifth-round comeback knockout.
Returning to the winner’s enclosure, Volkov managed to score a unanimous judging win over Greg Hardy in a short-notice tie, in the penultimate bout of UFC Fight Night Moscow in November. June’s defeat to perennial contender, Blaydes marked just the second defeat since Volkov made the transition to the UFC back in November of 2016.
Alabama native, Harris – a two-time Golden Gloves victor, seen a four-fight unbeaten run stopped by Overeem in a highly-emotional meeting in Jacksonville two months ago. The fourteen fight UFC veteran has notched wins over Cyril Asker, Chase Sherman, Daniel Spitz, Aleksei Oleinik, and Sergey Spivak – scoring him a place within the top ten at heavyweight.