UFC Fight Night 149: Overeem vs. Oleinik Preview
Russia will be the UFC hotspot this coming Saturday, with the staging of UFC Fight Night 149. Over 10 fights are scheduled for the event, top-billed by the showdown between American Alistair Overeem and Russian Alexey Oleinik.
Nitrogen Sports Blog previews that fight along with the collision of Islam Makhachev and Arman Tsarukyan.
UFC Fight Night 149: Overeem vs. Oleinik on Saturday, April 20
Alistair Overeem (44-17 1NC) and Alexey Oleinik (57-11-1) will headline the UFC’s first-ever visit to Saint Petersburg, Russia for UFC Fight Night 149.
Overeem was originally slated to face Alexander Volkov in a heavyweight bout, however, the latter had to pull out of the fight for undisclosed reasons. He will be replaced by another Russian in submission specialist Oleinik, though, who took the fight on short notice.
Meanwhile, in the co-main event, Islam Makhachev (16-1) will be facing fellow Russian compatriot Arman Tsarukyan (13-1), who will be making his UFC debut at the event. Here’s a look at the two fights on a night featuring some of Europe’s best fighters.
Alistair Overeem vs. Alexey Oleinik
Overeem was initially expected to face a striker, but in Oleinik, he will now have to worry about takedown and submission threats. That’s not to say Overeem hasn’t faced his fair share of submission specialists or grapplers. The former Strikeforce heavyweight champion boasts an impressive 73 percent takedown defense and will look to keep the fight a stand-up slugfest to utilize his high-level striking.
Although he suffered a two-fight losing skid, “The Reem” got back to winning ways with an impressive TKO win over Sergey Pavlovich late last year, and will look to go on another winning streak en route to another potential title shot.
As for Oleinik, it’s no secret what his game plan will be. The experienced veteran’s last four wins have all come by submission and he will be hoping to add Overeem’s name to his list of victims that includes Mark Hunt, Travis Browne, and Mirko Cro Cop. However, “The Boa Constrictor” doesn’t have the best takedown accuracy with just 39 percent, and may have a long (or quick) night if he can’t take Overeem down.
Islam Makhachev vs. Arman Tsarukyan
Makhachev will look to crack the top 15 of the shark tank lightweight division with a fifth consecutive win in the UFC.
The teammate and longtime friend of current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev was originally rumored to be facing the highly-ranked Kevin Lee. But with Lee moving up to welterweight, Makhachev will now welcome Tsarukyan in UFC Fight Night 149.
Tsarukyan, like Mackhachev, has an impressive record with just the one loss back in 2015. He is also a finisher with just three of his 13 wins going the distance. The 22-year-old Russian will look to make a bang in his first appearance in the Octagon.
From Russia…with bruises and bloody faces. That is likely going to be the case this coming weekend in the UFC, which is bringing its own brand of combat sports to Kremlin.
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