UFC Moscow officially has a main event. The September 15 card, which marks the UFC’s long-awaited debut in Russia, will be headlined by a heavyweight contender bout between legendary knockout artist Mark Hunt and submission savant Alexey Oleynik.
This bout was first reported by MMA Team Dagestan many weeks ago, and has now been made official by the UFC.
⚡️BREAKING; In case of disqualification of Werdum Mark Hunt will replace Werdum in fight against Oleiynik at the #UFCMoscow
— MMA TEAM DAGESTAN (@MMATeamDagestan) May 22, 2018
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) July 19, 2018
Alexey Oleynik was originally expected to battle former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in the card’s main event, but this plan was nixed when Werdum was notified of a potential USADA violation. Mark Hunt was then called upon to step in.
Oleynik will enter this UFC Moscow fight having recently dazzled with an Ezekiel choke submission of Junior Albini. This rare and difficult submission has become the Russian’s calling card. In his next most recent fight, Oleynik was TKO’d by Curtis Blaydes. This loss ended a two-fight win-streak for the Russian, which was composed of submission wins over Viktor Pesta and Travis Browne. Oleynik is 56–11–1 overall, and 5-2 in the UFC.
Hunt, meanwhile, owns and overall record of 13-12-1 — a grade that is far from indicative of his skill. He last fought in February, when he lost a decision to Curtis Blaydes. In his next most recent fight, he scored a late TKO victory over fellow knockout artist Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis.
Here is the UFC Moscow lineup as it currently stands.
- Heavyweight bout: Mark Hunt vs. Oleksiy Oliynyk
- Heavyweight bout: Andrei Arlovski vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
- Middleweight bout: Omari Akhmedov vs. CB Dollaway
- Bantamweight bout: Merab Dvalishvili vs. Terrion Ware
Expect many more bouts to be announced for the UFC’s anticipated Russian debut in the next few weeks.
Who do you think will come out on top when Alexey Oleynik and Mark Hunt collide in the UFC Moscow main event?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/19/2018.