Injuries have led to the shuffling of the chief event of the UFC’s forthcoming card Russia, and my initial thoughts on the new headliner are below.
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 out of this fight because of injury, and the UFC chose to eliminate Oleynik out of his scheduled UFC Fight Night 150 bout against Walt Harris to shoot on Overeem instead. This card takes place April 20 at Venue Yubileyny Sports Palace City in 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 from the UFC and in his final fight knocked out Sergey Pavlovich as an underdog. Many fans and bettors wrote off Overeem after back-to-back brutal knockout losses to Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou, but he seemed fantastic against Pavlovich and showed that he still has some gas left in the tank in 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 into the Octagon as his chin is quite questionable at this point of his profession. Luckily for Overeem, while Volkov could have had a fantastic chance to knock him out, the odds are Oleynik will seem to take this fight to the floor, which makes this a more favorable matchup for”The Reem.”
Oleynik (57-11-1) is 6-2 at the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back entry wins over Mark Hunt and Junior Albini. One of the most underrated heavyweights in MMA history, Oleynik was deserving of a big fight for quite sometime, yet for whatever reason was reserved to fight a mid-tier heavyweight in the shape of Harris, that attracted criticisms from those who pay close attention to matchmaking. Rather, an injury to Volkov helped him out as he will now get his chance to combat a top-10 ranked competition in Overeem, and an impressive win here would push him closer to the title picture from the wide-open UFC heavyweight division.
Although Oleynik is a magician on the mat, Overeem is no slouch there either, and on the toes you need to give the Dutchman a good-sized advantage. I’m curious to find out what the lineup is for this bout later Overeem was a dog against Pavlovich, but in my eyes he must be the favorite to beat Oleynik.
Devin Clark vs. Ivan Shtyrkov, UFC Fight Night 149
At the same time, light heavyweights Devin Clark and Ivan Shtyrkov will meet UFC Fight Night 149. Marcel Dorff broke the news. Shtyrkov is filling in on short notice for the injured Abdul-Kerim Edilov. Clark (9-3) is 3-3 in the UFC and is coming from a TKO loss to Aleksandar Rakic. He hasn’t looked great from the UFC at either middleweight or light hearted, and with a reduction here is likely to be released from his contract. Shtyrkov (15-0-1) is coming off of back-to-back finishes over UFC vets Fabio Maldonado and Thiago Silva on the Russian regional circuit, and he also holds remarkable wins over Antonio Silva, Jeff Monson and Ricco Rodriguez. Though Clark has more UFC experience, I would favor Shtyrkov quite heavily in this bout because of the fact he will be fighting in Russia and because I believe Clark has to be faded.
Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links and MMA Odds Breaker is going to be paid if you make a purchase after clicking on the links.
Read more: evansvilleblacksox.com