26 years ago this week, mixed martial arts came to the United States for the first time in the form of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In its infancy, the UFC held one-night tournaments with the purpose of determining which fighting style would be best in a contest.
Last week, the UFC, which has grown to a worldwide brand in over two and a half decades, celebrated its 500th live show with UFC 244 on pay-per-view from New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
This Saturday morning and afternoon, UFC returns to action with its second visit to Moscow, Russia for UFC on ESPN+ 21. Undercard action begins at 11 a.m. EST, 8 a.m. PST on ESPN+, with the six-fight main card following at 2 p.m. EST, 11 a.m. PST on ESPN+.
Previously, the promotion made a stop in Moscow in September of 2018 for a card on UFC Fight Pass inside Olimpyskiy Arena in Moscow. That night, Aleksey Oleinik stopped Mark Hunt in the main event by first-round submission due to a rear-naked choke.
A total of 13 MMA fights will be contested in CSKA Arena in Moscow this Saturday, highlighted by a main event in the UFC’s Featherweight ranks. No. 5 contender Zabit Magomedsharipov (17-1) will meet No. 11 contender Calvin Kattar (20-3) to close the show.
Heading into Saturday afternoon’s main event, Zabit Magomedsharipov is the taller contestant, standing 6-foot-1, two inches taller than Calvin Kattar at 5-foot-11.
Magomedsharipov has gone 5-0 in his last five fights. Last time out, he scored a unanimous decision victory against Jeremy Stephens during UFC 235’s featured prelim on ESPN on Mar. 2.
In the other corner, Kattar has gone 4-1 in his last five fights and enters this main event on a two-fight winning streak. Most recently, he defeated Ricardo Lamas by first-round knockout during UFC 238’s undercard on June 8.
The Tale of the Tape
UFC.com shows that Magomedsharipov owns a one-inch reach advantage (73 inches to 72 inches) and a two-inch leg reach advantage (42 inches to 40 inches) heading into this contest.
Prediction: Zabit Magomedsharipov by first-round TKO.
Other fights on Saturday’s main card
No. 7 contender Alexander Volkov (30-7) vs. Greg Hardy (5-1, 1 NC) [Heavyweight, co-main event]
Zelim Imadaev (8-1) vs. Danny Roberts (16-5) [Welterweight]
Khadis Ibragimov (8-1) vs. Ed Herman (25-14, one no-contest) [Light Heavyweight]
Ramazan Emeev (18-3) vs. Rocco Martin (16-4) [Welterweight]
Shamil Gamzatov (13-0, UFC debut) vs. Klidson Abreu (15-3) [Light Heavyweight]
UFC on ESPN+ 21 at a Glance
Prelims: Saturday, 11 a.m. EST, 8 a.m. PST, ESPN+
Main Card: Saturday, 2 p.m. EST, 11 a.m. PST, ESPN+
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