There’s a solid heavyweight contest that takes place on the main card of tomorrow’s UFC 254 PPV. That contest is between Alexander Volkov (31-8) and Walt Harris (13-8, 1 NC). Both men are looking to bounce back after losses in their last contests.
Volkov was literally seconds away from a potential UFC heavyweight title shot back in 2018. However, a big right hand from Derrick Lewis changed everything. Back at UFC 229, Volkov was knocked out in the final fifteen seconds of that fight.
Had Volkov won that contest, he probably would have received a title shot. Volkov bounced back against Greg Hardy, but back in June, he was defeated by the heavy wrestling attack of Curtis Blaydes. However, this fight should play to Volkov’s strength which is his striking.
Back in May at UFC on ESPN 8, Walt Harris appeared to be seconds away from getting his third straight first round stoppage. Harris had dropped and badly hurt Alistair Overeem, however, Harris couldn’t quite close the show.
After he couldn’t finish the fight, a tired Harris would get stopped in the second round. Prior to that loss, Harris had knocked out Alexey Oleynik and Sergey Spivak in a combined 62 seconds to vault him into being a top contender.
UFC 254 Prediction
In analyzing this fight, it’s going to come down to the stand up. Harris came out this week and said that he believes he has the best striking in the UFC’s heavyweight division. Volkov laughed at this statement when he heard it.
I will say, Harris has some of the best power in the UFC‘s heavyweight division, however, I can’t say he has the best striking. He absolutely possesses the power to end the fight tomorrow afternoon and that has to count for something.
For Volkov, he’s got to keep this fight on the outside and he needs to get past the first round. If he can do those things, I think he could be well on his way to earning a decision victory at UFC 254. However, that first round is going to be tough.
As we’ve seen, Harris is going to come out very strong. I wouldn’t even be shocked if her hurt Volkov in the opening round. However, if it goes into the second round, Volkov has the advantage to me, and I think this one will ultimately go to the scorecards.
Prediction: Alexander Volkov by Unanimous Decision