- UFC Fight Night 149 is headlined by a heavyweight scrap between Alistair Overeem and Alexey Oleinik
- The two veteran competitors have 131 professional MMA bouts between them
- Can Oleinik continue his run of submission victories?
The UFC is in Russia for just the second time in the history of the promotion for this weekend’s UFC Fight Night card, which takes place on April 20th at Yubileyny Sports Palace. The headline bout features two heavyweight competitors, Alistair Overeem, who is ranked no. 7 in the UFC’s official heavyweight rankings and Aleksei Oleinik, who comes in at no. 9 in the division. The two veteran competitors have nearly 43 years of professional MMA experience between them.
Overeem and Oleinik are both coming off first-round stoppage wins and will be looking to keep climbing the heavyweight rankings when they meet in the historic city.
UFC Fight Night 149: Overeem vs Oleinik Odds
|Fighter||Spread at Bovada|
Alistair Overeem, a former K-1 kickboxing World Grand Prix champion, has made a name for himself as one of the most feared strikers in MMA, but his reputation took a hit when he was knocked out in back-to-back fights against Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes. He bounced back from those losses with a first-round TKO win over Sergei Pavlovich in November.
Overeem moved to Team Elevation to train for the Pavlovich fight and there were some noticeable changes in his game in that bout. Where he had been more patient in his striking in his two losses, Overeem was more aggressive against Pavlovich and he was rewarded with the knockout win. Overeem is a powerful striker who does his best work in the clinch where he utilizes powerful knees to break his opponents. He’s also a devastating striker on the ground, but unless he hurts Oleinik, he’ll want to keep this fight on the feet if at all possible.
The reason Overeem wants to avoid the ground can be seen in Oleinik’s abysmal takedown defense of 11%. There’s a reason that number is so low and that’s because Oleinik usually wants to be on the mat, especially against fighters who are not known for heavy top games or who have weak defensive grappling skills. Oleinik, a combat sambo world champion, has 45 submission victories in his career. He’s made a name for himself in the UFC by submitting foes with the Ezekiel choke, which is rarely seen in MMA. Five of Oleinik’s six UFC wins have come by way of submission.
Overeem vs Oleinik Tale of the Tape
|Alistair Overeem||Category||Aleksei Oleinik|
|265 pounds||Weight||240 pounds|
|3.55||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||3.06|
|1.94||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||3.28|
|1.42||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||2.99|
|1.0||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||2.7|
Yes, this is a classic striker vs grappler battle, but it’s a bit more than that because of how high-level these two men are in their specialties. I would expect a very cautious approach from both of these competitors and because of that, I expect that Overeem’s overall skill set will allow him to keep his distance from Oleinik and utilize his kickboxing skills to score a knockout win.
Pick: Overeem (-240)