Injuries have led to the shuffling of the main event of the UFC’s upcoming card Russia, and my first thoughts on the new headliner are under.
Alistair Overeem vs. Alexey Oleynik, UFC Fight Night 149
The main event of UFC Fight Night 149 is going to be a five-round heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Alexey Oleynik. Alexander Volkov pulled from the struggle due to injury, and also the UFC chose to eliminate Oleynik out of his scheduled UFC Fight Night 150 bout against Walt Harris to take on Overeem instead. This card takes place April 20 in Venue Yubileyny Sports Palace City at Saint Petersburg, Russia, and ESPN’s Ariel Helwani has been the first to break news of the main event swap.
Overeem (44-17, 1 NC) is 9-6 overall in the UFC and in his last fight knocked out Sergey Pavlovich within an underdog. Many bettors and fans wrote off Overeem after back-to-back brutal knockout losses to Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou, but he seemed fantastic against Pavlovich and showed he still has some gas left in the tank at age 38. Obviously, while he showed his vaunted finishing skills against Pavlovich, the danger of Overeem being knocked out himself is always there every time he steps to the Octagon as his chin is very suspicious at this point of his profession. Fortunately for Overeem, while Volkov could have had a good chance to knock him out, the odds are Oleynik will look to take this fight to the floor, making this a favorable matchup for”The Reem.”
Oleynik (57-11-1) is 6-2 in the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back submission wins over Mark Hunt and Junior Albini. Among the most underrated heavyweights in MMA history, Oleynik has been deserving of a significant fight for quite sometime, yet for whatever reason was reserved to combat a mid-tier heavyweight in the shape of Harris, which drew criticisms from those who pay close attention to matchmaking. Instead, an injury to Volkov helped him out as he’ll now get his chance to fight a top-10 ranked opponent in Overeem, along with an impressive win here would push him closer into the title picture from the wide-open UFC heavyweight division.
Though Oleynik is a wizard on the mat, Overeem is no slouch there either, and on the feet you need to provide the Dutchman a good-sized advantage. I’m curious to see what the line is for this particular bout later Overeem was a dog against Pavlovich, but in my eyes he should be the favorite to conquer Oleynik.
Devin Clark vs. Ivan Shtyrkov, UFC Fight Night 149
At the same time, light heavyweights Devin Clark and Ivan Shtyrkov will fulfill at UFC Fight Night 149. Marcel Dorff broke the information. Shtyrkov is filling in on short notice for its wounded Abdul-Kerim Edilov. Clark (9-3) is 3-3 at the UFC and is coming from a TKO loss to Aleksandar Rakic. He has not looked very good in the UFC at either middleweight or light heavyweight, and with a loss here is likely to be released from his contract. Shtyrkov (15-0-1) is coming from back-to-back endings over UFC vets Fabio Maldonado and Thiago Silva in the Russian regional circuit, and he also holds notable wins over Antonio Silva, Jeff Monson and Ricco Rodriguez. Though Clark has more UFC experience, I’d prefer Shtyrkov quite heavily in this respect because of the fact he’ll be battling in Russia and because I believe Clark must be faded.
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