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UFC Saint Petersburg: Overeem vs Oleynik - Apr 20 🇷🇺


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Saturday 20th April, the Octagon is back in Russia. 


Alistair Overeem vs Alexey Oleynik

Islam Makhachev vs Arman Tsarukyan

Sergey Pavlovich vs Marcelo Golm  

Antonina Shevchenko vs Roxanne Modafferi

Krzysztof Jotko vs Alen Amedovski 

Movsar Evloev vs Seung Woo Choi

Keita Nakamura vs Sultan Aliev

Alexander Yakovlev vs Alex Da Silva Coelho 

Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Marcin Tybura 

Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs Michal Oleksiejczuk 

Magomed Mustafaev vs Rafael Fiziev 


Decent enough. I like that main event and there are some under the radar fights and debuts on this one as well. 



So Alexander Volkov vs Alistair Overeem headlines. Good heavyweight fight on paper between two men looking to get back in the title race. We last saw Volkov in October on the Khabib-McGregor undercard. He got wiped out by Derrick Lewis and his hot balls with just 11 seconds remaining in a fight Volkov was winning fairly comfortably. He was on a 6 fight win streak before this and had knocked out Fabricio Werdum. He was getting close to a title shot but the Black Beast put a swift stop to that. This is a big fight to try to rebound for Volkov. A win against Overeem here would put him right back in the mix. Overeem snapped a 2 fight losing streak in his last fight, stopping previously undefeated Sergey Pavlovich. Overeem is coming up on 39 years old and has had a long old career between MMA and Kickboxing, with 76 pro fights all told. He’s had a ton of wins of course but he’s also been knocked out 16 times. Some of them really bad. You have to think the sand timer is running empty now. You never know with The Reem. He’s been written off a few times and came back to go on a streak. I’ve got a feeling this might be his last run though. 



Shamil Abdurakhimov vs Marcin Tybura doesn’t do a great deal for me but suppose it could be alright. Abdurakhimov is the hometown boy here. Solid 19-4 record and is coming off the biggest win of his career, a decision over Andrei Arlovski on the last Russia show in September. He’s not terrible but he’s not going to be troubling the title scene any time soon. Tybura is similar really. He’s Polish, 17-4 record, coming off a win over Stefan Struve. He’s also beaten Arlovski and he did go 5 rounds with Werdum. Could be an OK fight but I find them both a bit too plodding and lumbering to really enjoy watching. 



Sergey Pavlovich vs Marcelo Golm I’m kind of interested in. Mostly to see Pavlovich again. Like I said above, he was unbeaten before running into the much more experienced Overeem in his UFC debut. He’s 12-1 now, with 9 of his wins coming by KO or TKO. Golm is Brazilian, 26 years old, 6-2 record, fights out of ATT and dropped decision losses in his last 2 fights. 



Krzysztof Jotko vs Roman Kopylov didn’t particularly jump out to me initially but scratching under the surface it could be fireworks. Poland’s Jotko has bounced around the UFC for a bit now. Had his ups and downs and is coming off 3 consecutive losses, his last 2 by stoppage. He was 19-1 prior to that though, with a win over Thales Leites. He could be out the door with another loss here though. And this Kopylov fellow sounds handy. He’s Russian, 27 years old and he’s 8-0 with 7 finishes. He’s won multiple titles in Combat Sambo, was the Fight Night Global champ at 185, fought for ACB and won his last fight in December with a body shot. Sounds like a fight worth a gander. 


Alexander Yakovlev vs Teemu Packalen is a weird one. Neither have been active in a while. Yakovlev hasn’t fought since 2016 for some reason. He was decent from what I recall of him but he lost his last 2 (one of them to Kamaru Usman, no shame there). He also managed to survive 5 rounds of Demian Maia and has wins over Paul Daley and Gray Maynard. Packalen is from Finland, 8-2 record and was last seen in 2017, on the wrong end of a highlight reel KO by Marc Diakiese. 



Antonina Shevchenko vs Roxanne Modafferi is an interesting one. On paper it’s almost purely a striker vs grappler matchup. Antonina Shevchenko, if you didn’t already know, is the older sister of current flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko. Antonina is 34 years old, 7-0 in MMA, 39-1 as a Kickboxer and was the Lion Fight lightweight champion. She made her UFC debut in November with a comfy points win over Ji Yeon Kim. Modafferi is 36 years old, experienced but with a journeywoman MMA record of 22-15 and she has brown-belts in both BJJ and Judo. Seems like very much a case of whoever can control where the fight takes place. Modafferi can be awkward and crafty but if Shevchenko can keep it standing it’s hers to lose. 



Abdul-Kerim Edilov vs Devin Clark is another intriguing battle in the steadily improving 205 division. Edilov could be a bit of a prospect if he wasn’t a dodgy twat. He’s Russian, 27 years old with a 17-4 record and coming off an 11 fight win streak. He actually signed with the UFC back in late 2015 but immediately got popped by USADA. He finally made his Octagon debut in 2017, TKOing Bojan Mihajlovic, but has been out of action since. He’s also been heavily linked to Ramzan Kadyrov, serving as a henchman and even training Kadyrov’s sons. Umm, yeah. Clark is alright. 28 years old, 9-3 in MMA. He was giving Aleksandar Rakic all kinds of grief in his last fight in December before Rakic rallied and finished him. He hasn’t had that standout win or performance yet but he’s looked fairly solid from what I’ve seen of him. He’s the automatic babyface in this fight regardless. 



Gadzhimurad Antigulov vs Michal Oleksiejczuk could well end up bagging FOTN, I reckon. Another Russia vs Poland scrap. Antigulov isn’t a world beater by any stretch but he’s a bit of an animal all the same. 20-5 record with 19 of his 20 wins being finished inside the distance. Actually, of his 25 career fights, he’s only went the distance once. Very much a ‘kill or be killed’ type of fighter. He goes for it. He got stopped by Ion Cutelaba last time out but was on a 14 fight winning streak previously. And Oleksiejczuk is coming in fresh off a quick knockout victory over Gian Villante in February. He’s 24 with a 13-2-1 record and has stopped 10 of his 13 wins. I’d be surprised if this goes to the judges. And if it does it’ll probably be a bit of a slobberknocker. 



Keita Nakamura vs Sultan Aliev isn’t getting my nips hard, to be honest. Might be a pleasant surprise, I’m just not feeling it much. Nakamura is a veteran of 46 MMA fights. He started in 2003. Record stands at a respectable 34-9-2-1. Mixed results in the UFC though, and he’s traded wins and losses in his last few. Aliev is 14-3 in MMA, had a stint in Bellator a few years ago and is 1-2 in the UFC. 



Islam Makhachev vs Arman Tsarukyan is a real darkhorse fight. An all Russian clash. Makhachev has long been considered a bit of a beast but he’s had a few layoffs and it’s really slowed his roll. He’s 16-1 with wins over Kajan Johnson, Gleison Tibau and Nik Lentz in his last 3. He’s won 4 in a row now so hopefully he can stay injury free and start building some momentum. It’s a deep pool at 155 but I think Makhachev could really start making waves over the next couple of years if he can stay active. This Arman Tsarukyan looks good himself though. I didn’t know anything about him but looking him up now he’s only 22 years old, he’s 13-1 with 10 finishes and on a 12 fight streak. Watched a few little bits, including him killing some fucker with a big headkick...

...Yeah, he looks a bit of a handful. 



Magomed Mustafaev vs Rafael Fiziev is this card’s ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH***. Might not be a fight that immediately grabs you by the bollocks but it’s one worth tuning in for. Mustafaev has been off the scene since 2016. He lost by submission to Kevin Lee in his last fight but I remember him giving a good account of himself and doing especially well on the feet. Apparently he injured his arm in the fight and took a break. A 3 year break. And now he’s back. Still only 30 years old, 14-2 record and had won 13 in a row before the Lee loss. It’s not really him that’s got my attention here though. It’s the newcomer, Rafael Fiziev. He’s 25 years old, perfect MMA record so far of 6-0 with 6 finishes. Born in Kazakhstan but fights out of Thailand and is primarily a Muay Thai striker. He’s sometimes referred to as ‘The Muay Thai Matrix’ due to his crazy Neo-like evasions of his opponent’s kicks. Look at this shit, will you...


Fucking Limbo Slice here. 

Couldn’t find his Muay Thai record but read that he has close to 40 wins in that game. And his coach is Pavel Fedotov who is also the coach of the Shevchenko sisters. I love him already. What an exciting addition to the already loaded 155 division. I’m already dying to see Matrix Fiziev vs Groovy Lando. 



Movsar Evloev vs Muin Gafurov sees 2 more new faces enter the UFC. Evloev is 25 years old, 10-0 with 7 finishes. Was M-1 bantamweight champion. And Gafurov is only 22 with a 16-2 record and all 16 wins by stoppage. He’s fought for ONE FC and ACB and has a bit of an Arturo Gatti look about him to me. 


So not the strongest lineup at first glance but there’s plenty to sink your teeth into there. Some really interesting debuts and there was seriously about 5 fights I could’ve had as my ‘one to watch’. Yeah, I like this card. 



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1 hour ago, Egg Shen said:

fucking hell, am i right in saying theres only 1 American on the card? pretty a Europeans only card.

2 Americans - Devin Clark and Roxanne Modafferi. Other than that you’ve got Marcelo Golm from Brazil and Keita Nakamura from Japan. I think the rest are all European though. 

Oh and this is cool. The moment Rafael Fiziev found out he was going to be a UFC fighter; 


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All these pullouts and the card still got shagged dry. 

Newcomer Roman Kopylov is out of the Jotko fight injured. He’s being replaced by another newcomer Alen Amedovski (8-0 with 8 knockouts). 

Muin Gafurov’s debut is off because it turns out he’s still under contract to ONE. Evloev is now fighting another newcomer Seung Woo Choi (7-1 with 5 knockouts). 

And Abdul-Kerim Edilov is out for ‘undisclosed reasons’, probably busy rounding up gay men and boiling them for Kadyrov, I imagine. So Devin Clark is facing Ivan Shtyrkov (15-0-1 with 11 finishes) instead. 

In fairness, they all sound like solid substitutes. 

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36 minutes ago, Egg Shen said:

Volkov is out, Aeksei Oleinik steps in.

The card has just shat the bed now in all fairness. it's went from a fairly decent watch with a recognisable main event, to shit for the most part. Solid fighters for sure, but it's a lineup that wouldn't look out of place on a local show. 

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Did anyone watch this? 😆 

Thought Overeem vs Oleynik was fun while it lasted. Oleynik made it interesting early on but in the end Overeem was just too much on the feet. The finishing knees were brutal to watch. Overeem wants that Volkov fight rebooked, I’m up for that. 

Islam Makhachev vs Arman Tsarukyan was quality. One of the best grappling based fights I’ve seen in MMA in some time. Some of the wrestling exchanges were incredible here and even though he lost I think Tsarukyan will be someone to keep an eye on going forward. They did him zero favours here giving him Makhachev in his debut and he still looked impressive. Once he gets more comfortable I think he might be a bit of a force. As for Makhachev, I really feel like he can be a legit player at 155. It’s really only been the injuries and spells of inactivity that have delayed his rise. I think he’s got the skills to go far. 

Sergey Pavlovich looked good smashing up Marcelo Golm quick. He might be decent. He was unbeaten before being fed to Overeem in his UFC debut. 

Roxanne Modafferi vs Antonina Shevchenko was a hard fought battle. A real struggle all the way. Definitely felt like Modafferi won though. Don’t really get the one judge scoring it for Shev. And I wanted Shevchenko to win. She just didn’t though. Modafferi was good here though. One of her best performances for me. Constant pressure, never really allowed Shevchenko the time or space to get her strikes off and got the takedowns at crucial times to win the rounds. 

Didn’t watch Jotko vs Ademovski all that closely. Just had it on in the background while I was making my daughter’s breakfast. Jotko looked decent from what I saw.

I liked this as well; 

Never watched the prelims but saw the results. Shame that Matrix bloke Rafael Fiziev got done in a round. I was hoping he’d make a splash. Mustafaev was always going to be a hard debut though. 

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This was sandwiched between two crazy work weeks for me and a trip accross the pond from Saturday morning until Sunday night, so I was only able to get time to watch 'Reem Vs Olenik while eating breakfast this morning, which was a much more exciting fight than I anticipated.

It puts Overeem into a nice spot. Win three on the bounce at heavyweight, and you're a contender. By the time he possibly fights Volkov, and if Alistair happened to get the win, then he'd be prime for a title eliminator or a title shot, depending on who the champ is/whoever DC is trying to lure into the cage that's available at the end of the year. 

Olenik will bounce back and strangle a few big lugs in his next couple of outings, I'm sure of that. 

I looked at the results though and the early prelims looked like a ton of fun. I'll have to look up those few KO's that happened throughout the show as they sounded pretty damn impressive.

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