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Injuries have contributed to the shuffling of the main event of the UFC’s forthcoming card in Russia, along with 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 this fight because of injury, and the UFC chose to remove Oleynik from his scheduled UFC Fight Night 150 bout against Walt Harris to take on Overeem instead. This card takes place April 20 at Venue Yubileyny Sports Palace City in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and ESPN’s Ariel Helwani was 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 within an underdog. Many bettors and fans composed off Overeem after back-to-back brutal knockout losses to Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou, but he seemed fantastic against Pavlovich and revealed he still has some gas left in the tank at age 38. Obviously, while he showed off his vaunted finishing skills against Pavlovich, the danger of Overeem being pumped himself out is always there each time he steps into the Octagon as his chin is quite questionable at this stage of his profession. Fortunately for Overeem, while Volkov would have had a good chance to knock him out, the chances are Oleynik is going to seem to take this fight to the ground, which makes this a favorable matchup for”The Reem.”
Oleynik (57-11-1) is 6-2 at the UFC and is coming from 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, however for whatever reason was reserved to fight 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 assisted 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 to the title picture from the wide-open UFC heavyweight division.
Though Oleynik is a magician on the mat, Overeem is no slouch there either, and on the toes you need to provide that the Dutchman a good-sized advantage. I am curious to see what the line is for this bout later Overeem was a dog against Pavlovich, but in my eyes he must be the favored 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 in the UFC and is coming off of a TKO loss to Aleksandar Rakic. He hasn’t looked great from the UFC at either middleweight or light heavyweight, and with a reduction here is likely to be released from his contract. Shtyrkov (15-0-1) is coming from back-to-back finishes over UFC vets Fabio Maldonado and Thiago Silva on the Russian regional circuit, and in addition, he holds notable wins over Antonio Silva, Jeff Monson and Ricco Rodriguez. Though Clark has more UFC expertise, I’d favor Shtyrkov quite heavily in this bout due to the fact he will be fighting in Russia and also because I think Clark has to be faded.
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