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UFC Russia: Hunt vs Oleynik - Sep 15


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On Saturday 15th September, the Octagon finally makes its debut in Russia as Moscow gets this lot...


Mark Hunt vs Alexey Oleynik 

Nikita Krylov vs Jan Blachowicz 

Andrei Arlovski vs Shamil Abdurakhimov 

Thiago Alves vs Alexey Kunchenko 


CB Dollaway vs Khalid Murtazaliev

Petr Yan vs Jin Soo Son

Rustam Khabilov vs Kajan Johnson 

Mairbek Taisumov vs Desmond Green

Magomed Ankalaev vs Marcin Prachnio

Jordan Johnson vs Adam Yandiev 

Ramazan Emeev vs Stefan Sekulic

Merab Dvalishvili vs Terrion Ware


First things first, let's put this to bed once and for all. Oleynik's name is spelt ALEXEY OLEYNIK. I've seen it spelt so many different ways by the MMA sites, fans and even the UFC themselves. I've seen 'Alexei Oleinik', 'Oleksiy Oliynyk' and all sorts. It annoys me way more than it should. Oleynik himself confirmed the correct spelling. 


So that's that. 

Now that's out the way, this isn't a bad little card. Kind of expected something a little bit bigger on top for their Russian debut but then I remembered the European time difference and the fact it's on Fight Pass. Taking all that into consideration, this is a solid enough card. And it'll be on at a good time for us which is always a bonus. 



Mark Hunt vs Alexey Oleynik is the main event. Originally supposed to be Werdum vs Oleynik. I actually like this better than the Werdum fight. Proper old school throwback striker vs grappler matchup. We all know what Mark Hunt's plan is. The same as it is for every fight, he wants to knock his opponent's head off. He's a legend but at 44 years old and after a long as fuck combat sports career, he can't have too many fights left in him. Oleynik will be the crowd favourite here, for obvious reasons. He's grown on me over the years. I first heard of him when he submitted Mirko Cro Cop in Russia back in 2013. He's never been a world beater but he's put together a respectable 56-11-1 record, with 44 submissions. He's won by Ezekiel choke 11 times, for fuck's sake! That's such a rare, low success rate submission but he's pulled it off 11 times. He's got wins over Travis Browne, Jared Rosholt, Cro Cop and Jeff Monson on his résumé. He's never going to be the UFC champion but I like him. And I love this fight with Hunt. Just a really fun clash of heavyweight styles. The KO artist vs the submission specialist. 



Nikita Krylov vs Jan Blachowicz is ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** this time. Real good fight this could be. This is Krylov's return to the UFC. He had a decent first run in the Octagon, going 6-3 and at one point was on a 5 fight streak with 5 finishes. Most memorable of that run was his brutal headkick KO against Ed Herman, I legit thought Herman was dead watching it live. Scary KO. He then lost to Misha Cirkunov and was let go by the UFC. It seemed a weird release at the time but he later said that he wanted to fight outside the UFC to better his skills before making another run at it. He went 4-0 outside the UFC, 3 knockouts and 1 submission and now he's back. Not much of a warm welcome back though, Jan Blachowicz awaits him. Blachowicz has a 22-7 record and has won his last 3 fights. He had a great fight with Jimi Manuwa last time out on the London card in March. Probably his best showing yet, IMO. Certainly his most entertaining fight. He's also got a 34-0 Kickboxing record. He's no joke. Really looking forward to this fight. 



Andrei Arlovski vs Shamil Abdurakhimov is alright. Could easily see it swinging into exciting or plodding territory. Arlovski is a true vet of MMA. He's laced up the gloves 44 times since his debut in 1999 and he's been pretty much everywhere and fought everyone. He's had his high points and definitely some real bad low points but he can still hang and have his moments on a good day. Even his last fight, he lost a decision to Tai Tuivasa but it was a really good competitive fight and Arlovski gave a good account of himself against the younger, fresher, heavy hitting Tuivasa. He's probably never getting anywhere near the title picture again but he's far from a shot fighter. Abdurakhimov is the kind of guy I could see Arlovski still beating. He's a big tough Russian but there's nothing remarkable about him and he's pretty slow and lumbering. He's a big guy and Arlovski's chin is always the x-factor so you never know. But I think as long as Andrei fights smart this is his fight to lose. 



Thiago Alves vs Alexey Kunchenko has piqued my interest. Alves has been one of my favourite fighters to watch over the years, he's gone off the boil massively over the last few years though. He's lost 3 of his last 4 and got stopped by Curtis Millender in his last fight. He's floundering and badly needs a big win. Kunchenko is making his UFC debut here and he sounds pretty legit. He was the M-1 welterweight champion, undefeated at 18-0 with 14 finishes. Feels like Alves is being put in the 'sacrificial lamb' role again here but we'll see.



Rustam Khabilov vs Kajan Johnson could be the sleeper on this card. Khabilov was looking like someone to really keep an eye on for a while. His rise has stalled slightly for whatever reason. Think he's had a few injuries. He's back now though. 22-3 record, won his last 5. Not sure if he's still at Jackson-Wink but he trained Sambo under Khabib's old man. He's a bit of a beast when he's on. He's up against Tristar's Kajan Johnson. A decent fighter, 23-13-1 record and he's 4-1 in his last 5. He got armbarred in the first round by another Russian in Islam Makhachev on the Calgary FOX show the other week though so he needs a W here. 



Mairbek Taisumov vs Desmond Green could be another darkhorse fight. Taisumov has been quietly beasting through the UFC Fight Night and undercard circuit for a while now. He's 27-5 and has knocked out his last 5 opponents, 3 inside a round. Of his 27 wins, he's finished 26. He really should be getting more hype. Desmond Green fights out of Tristar, 21-7, Div 1 wrestler, beat Gleison Tibau in his most recent fight. He's got some skills but I don't fancy his chances much here. 



Oh and Petr Yan is on the card. His second UFC fight after blasting through Teruto Ishihara in his UFC debut on the Singapore card. He's Russian but has German and Chinese ancestry. He looks the business. 9-1 MMA record, really quality striker, was the ACB bantamweight champ. I really liked his debut. He was supposed to face Douglas Silva De Andrade here but a foot injury scuppered that. The UFC are currently looking for a replacement. Hopefully Yan stays on the card. 


Like I said, this is a cool little card. I like the fact that there's a Russian in pretty much every fight. The crowd should be hot throughout this one. 


UFC Russia then. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Real lean show compared to what we were expecting. They ain't even loaded it with the Russians they have on the roster id have expected them too. Standard fight night really.

How in god's fuck is Mairbek Taisumov still buried on the prelims though? he's been tearing through people (a little inactive though) but he never seems to get any focus on him, super exciting fighter.

Kajan Johnson coming off a loss gets a guy on a 5 fight UFC win streak too, just an odd piece of matchmaking. Im actually a little intrigued to see Johnson on this card so quickly after a loss. Johnson himself said he thinks the UFC are looking for an excuse to cut him because he's part of some of union committee that's causing problems for the promotion or something. Maybe this is a quick turnaround, throw him in deep, have him loss and get shot of him situation?


there's an article about written before his last loss.

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Cheers for that Kajan Johnson piece, I never heard that stuff. Definitely sounds like they're trying to get him fucked up on the way out. I thought giving him someone like Taisumov about 6 weeks after Makhachev stopped him sounded odd. Now it's making more sense. Kind of makes me want to see Kajan pull off the upset. 

And yeah, it's a pretty thin card for a debut in a new market. But for a Fight Pass card, this is what you expect. There's enough on there to hold my interest. Hunt vs Oleynik, Arlovski's fight, Krylov vs Blachowicz and Petr Yan is enough to have me looking forward to it. 

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Wonder if McGregor will show up to this. This show is only a few weeks before Khabib vs McGregor so the hype for that should really be at fever pitch by then. Imagine the heel heat he'd get there?

Hopefully they keep him out of Russia though. If he's going to get assassinated or poisoned or something, at least let us see the Khabib fight first. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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16 hours ago, Keith Houchen said:


Imagine if the black guy beats the Russian?  Then while he was getting booed to fuck announces he is gay?  The place would explode.

Would be even better if, during an all-out war, the Russians started cheering for the black guy, only for him to win late on and then grab the mic from Rogan and do the Rocky IV "everybody can change" speech, except from a racial point of view.

Skinhead Nazi's crying in the crowd, cheering and all that. Beautiful.

Edited by David
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2 minutes ago, David said:

Would be even better if, during an all-out war, the Russians started cheering for the black guy, only for him to win late on and then grab the mic from Rogan and do the Rocky IV "everybody can change" speech, except from a racial point of view.

Skinhead Nazi's crying in the crowd, cheering and all that. Beautiful.

Sounds like something that could be a film.  The best film in a number of films about a single fighter.

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Always worth digging deep on these UFC cards to unearth some interesting characters...


Adam Yandiev has a pretty interesting background. 

I'll likely miss the prelims tonight because the main card being live early sits nice for me. I'll try getting back to them, some good fights here.

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Well it was a fairly drab main card with a few bright spots.

I loves me some Oleynik, a proper MMA cult hero, just goes about his business and is unlike anyone else on the ground, the guy is deadly once he gets the fight where he wants it. Its a shame none of the submission based heavies aren't knocking around anymore, id love to see him take on Mir or even Werdum.

Cant help but feel Mark Hunt threw it away abit though, just looked a bit too comfortable on the feet, picking his shots. He was doing serious damage but seemed to be enjoying himself a bit too much. Game over once it hit the deck.

Blachowicz is a real sleeper at 205. Felt everyone expected this to be a bit of Krylov comeback party but Blachowicz took him out. He called out DC which is unlikely ever to happen but it was a smart move to throw his hat into that title picture because theres every chance that belt gets vacated.



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Didn't watch live, but saw on Twitter an absolutely abysmal bit of refereeing from Herb Dean, somebody who I normally rate quite highly in terms of being a competent referee.

This, however, is utterly inexcusable. Genuinely uncomfortable viewing. He needs to face disciplinary for this.


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