MMA Preview – Alistair Overeem vs Alexey Oleynik at UFC Fight Night 149

AT A GLANCE

When is UFC Fight Night 149? Saturday 20th April, 2019 - 16:00 start (UK)

Where is UFC Fight Night 149? Yubileyny Sports Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russia

What channel is UFC Fight Night 149 on? BT Sport ESPN

Where can I stream UFC Fight Night 149? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website

Are tickets still available for UFC Fight Night 149? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

Well-travelled legend of the sport Alistair Overeem headlines the first UFC card in Saint Petersburg, with fellow veteran Alexey Oleynik after Alexander Volkov had to pull out.

Overeem is a true warrior who takes fight after fight in the hunt for another shot at the heavyweight championship. This will be his 63rd MMA fight off the back of a successful Kickboxing career and he is still hanging in there with the best heavyweights in the sport. After beating Mark Hunt and Fabricio Werdum, he suffered devastating knockouts to Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes but bounced back in vintage Overeem fashion by starching the feared striker Sergei Pavlovich who is also on the card.

Oleynik has pounced on the opportunity to fight in Russia and take on a legend. With a record to match, ‘The Boa Constrictor’ has had 69 fights with a staggering 45 submission wins. Oleynik is a master of his craft, as very few fighters achieve 45 fights in a career let alone submissions, and he has showcased these skills at UFC level with five submissions from his six UFC wins. He has truly lived up to his nickname as he has a unique ability of wrapping opponents up with his arms and is an expert in the rare ezekiel choke and Scarf-hold headlock.

THE PREDICTION

Overeem is known for his striking abilities but he has 17 submission wins of his own, and Oleynik can bang with eight knockout wins, but this will turn into a classic striker versus grappler match-up.

Overeem will be focusing on his takedown defence in this camp and will come out in his newly adopted patient style in search of the knockout. Oleynik has a measly takedown accuracy but he will be persistent in his attempts.

Overeem has the skills to defend the takedown and he has the best significant striking accuracy in the UFC (73.1%) so Oleynik cannot afford to make a mistake. However, the same can be said for Overeem who needs to keep the distance at all costs. Oleynik only needs to wrap his arms around his opponents to set up a choke – even on the feet or when opponents are in full mount to cinch an ezekiel choke.

Despite Oleynik’s skills, Overeem should be too experienced to fall into the Russian’s grasp and over five rounds you would back him to find the knockout.

Winner: Overeem via KO/TKO

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.