Injuries have contributed to the shuffling of the chief event of this UFC’s forthcoming card in Russia, along with my initial thoughts on the new headliner are under.
Alistair Overeem vs. Alexey Oleynik, UFC Fight Night 149
The main event of UFC Fight Night 149 will be a five-round heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Alexey Oleynik. Alexander Volkov pulled from this struggle because of injury, and also the UFC chose to eliminate Oleynik from his scheduled UFC Fight Night 150 bout against Walt Harris to shoot 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 chief event swap.
Overeem (44-17, 1 NC) is 9-6 overall in the UFC and in his final 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 revealed that he still has some gas left in the tank in age 38. Obviously, while he showed off his vaunted finishing skills against Pavlovich, the danger of Overeem being pumped out himself is always there each time he steps to the Octagon because his chin is quite questionable at this point of his profession. Fortunately for Overeem, while Volkov would have had a fantastic chance to knock him out, the chances are Oleynik will look to take this battle to the floor, making this a 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. Among the most underrated heavyweights in MMA history, Oleynik has been deserving of a big fight for quite sometime, however for whatever reason was booked to fight a mid-tier heavyweight in the shape of Harris, which drew criticisms from people who pay close attention to matchmaking. Instead, an injury into Volkov helped him out as he’ll now get his opportunity to combat a top-10 ranked competition in Overeem, along with an impressive win here could push him closer to the title picture from the wide-open UFC heavyweight division.
Although Oleynik is a wizard on the mat, Overeem is no slouch there either, and on the feet you need to give that the Dutchman a good-sized advantage. I am curious to find out exactly what the line is for this bout after Overeem was a puppy against Pavlovich, but in my eyes he should be the favorite to beat Oleynik.
Devin Clark vs. Ivan Shtyrkov, UFC Fight Night 149
As well, light heavyweights Devin Clark and Ivan Shtyrkov will meet at UFC Fight Night 149. Marcel Dorff broke the news. Shtyrkov is filling in on short notice for its injured Abdul-Kerim Edilov. Clark (9-3) is 3-3 at 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 heavyweight, and using a loss here is very likely to be released from his contract. Shtyrkov (15-0-1) is coming off of back-to-back endings over UFC vets Fabio Maldonado and Thiago Silva in the Russian regional circuit, and in addition, he holds notable wins over Antonio Silva, Jeff Monson and Ricco Rodriguez. Though Clark has more UFC experience, I’d favor Shtyrkov quite heavily in this respect due to the fact he will be battling in Russia and also because I think Clark has to be faded.
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