A matchup between two top-ten ranked heavyweight contenders is in the works for the fall.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported on Friday that Walt Harris and former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov are set to fight at UFC 254 on October 24th. Current rankings have Volkov at #8 and Harris tied for #10 with Aleksei Oleinik.
Volkov (31-8) lost a unanimous decision to Curtis Blaydes at UFC Vegas 3 on June 20th. The Russian was largely unable to cope with Blaydes’ vaunted wrestling, and by the time he started to have more offensive success it was too late. Volkov’s previous bout saw him beat short notice replacement Greg Hardy by unanimous decision.
Harris (13-8, 1 NC) suffered a rather heartbreaking TKO loss to Alistair Overeem in Jacksonville back in May. It was his first appearance inside the Octagon since the murder of his stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard, and he was very emotional in his post-fight interview. In terms of his rise to contention, “The Big Ticket” scored big knockouts over Sergey Spivak and Aleksei Oleinik.
UFC 254 is expected to feature a main event between lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champ Justin Gaethje. A venue has not yet been named.