Injuries have led to the shuffling of the main event of the UFC's forthcoming card 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 is going to be a five-round heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Alexey Oleynik. Alexander Volkov pulled from the 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 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 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 revealed that he still has some gas left in the tank in age 38. Of course, while he showed off his vaunted finishing skills against Pavlovich, the danger of Overeem being knocked himself out is always there every time he steps into the Octagon as his chin is very questionable at this point of his profession. Luckily for Overeem, while Volkov could have had a good chance to knock him out, the chances are Oleynik will seem to take this battle to the ground, making this a favorable matchup for"The Reem."
Oleynik (57-11-1) is 6-2 in the UFC and is coming from back-to-back submission wins over Mark Hunt and Junior Albini. One of 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 attracted criticisms from people who pay close attention to matchmaking. Rather, an injury to Volkov assisted him out as he will now get his opportunity to combat a top-10 ranked competition in Overeem, along with also an impressive win here would push him closer into 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 about the toes you have to give the Dutchman a good-sized advantage. I'm curious to find out exactly what the lineup is for this particular bout later Overeem was a puppy against Pavlovich, but in my eyes that 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 at UFC Fight Night 149. Marcel Dorff broke the information. 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 has not looked very good from the UFC at either middleweight or light heavyweight, and using a loss here is 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 he also holds remarkable wins over Antonio Silva, Jeff Monson and Ricco Rodriguez. Though Clark has more UFC expertise, I would favor Shtyrkov quite heavily in this bout due to the fact he'll be fighting in Russia and also because I think Clark has to be faded.
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