What’s next for UFC St. Petersburg main event fighters?

Alistair Overeem, UFC St. Petersburg
Image: UFC on Instagram

The Octagon headed to St. Petersburg, Russia for UFC Fight Night 149 on Saturday. In the main event, Alistair Overeem took on Alexey Oleynik.

Alexey found some success early in the fight, but Overeem was able to turn the tide thanks to a barrage of knees and finished the fight via ground and pound.

Following his second consecutive first round stoppage victory, there is no doubt that Alistair Overeem should be fighting a top ranked opponent next.

Meanwhile, Alexey Oleynik, who was slated to take on Walt Harris in two weeks before accepting the bout with Overeem, will likely be taking a step back in competition.

Here is what we think should be next for those two fighters.

Alistair Overeem

There is one logical opponent for Alistair Overeem after his TKO win over Alexey Oleynik. And, that happens to be the man Overeem was supposed to fight on this card and called out after the fight, Alexander Volkov.

Overeem vs Volkov makes too much sense to not happen. Currently, they are just one ranking apart, where if Overeem were to win, he could very well make his case to being one win away from a title shot.

Meanwhile, Volkov needs to rebound after his shocking knockout loss to Derrick Lewis at UFC 229. The loser of this fight would potentially enter gatekeeper status, where the winner could get pushed towards a heavyweight title shot.

Alexey Oleynik

Although Alexey Oleynik inevitably lost his fight on Saturday, the Russian submission specialist did find some success in the early moments of the contest. There is no question Oleynik is a top-15 heavyweight and deserves a ranked opponent for his next fight. But who that will be is the question.

A logical next fight for Oleynik is to take on the winner of Walt Harris vs Sergey Spivak given Oleynik was supposed to fight Harris in just two weeks time before this fight happened. If Harris wins they can rebook the bout and the timing works for a late summer fight.

Who do you think should be next for Alistair Overeem and Alexey Oleynik? Sound off in the comment section, PENN Nation!

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/21/2019