Tonight at 10:05 pm ET on HBO, it’s a world title doubleheader at 175 pounds, with Sergey Kovalev returning in the main event to face Igor Mikhalkin.
ufc Kovalev vs Mikhalkin: Live
We’ll have live coverage of both fights.
Kovalev (31-2-1, 27 KO) came back last November to scorch Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and win the vacant WBO light heavyweight title, which he’d previously lost to Andre Ward. That win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Kovalev, who looked as monstrous as ever. Mikhalkin (21-1, 9 KO) is a fellow Russian and someone Kovalev considers a friend, but this is the opportunity of a lifetime for the underdog, as he’s said this week.
In the co-feature, it’s another 175-pound matchup, this one arguably the real main event for hardcore fight fans. Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KO), a rising star in the division and holder of the WBA “world” title, will face top contender Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KO). If Kovalev wins, a fight with the winner of this matchup would be big for HBO later this year.