UFC Fight Night 136: Moscow Preview - Hunt vs. Oleinik

UFC Fight Night 136: Moscow is set to be quite a show!
UFC Fight Night 136: Moscow is set to be quite a show!

UFC Fight Night 136: Moscow is here, and with it there has come a sense of apprehension that has been missing from previous UFC events. In many ways, this event, especially the main event of the night feels like it is a preview of something else.

With the Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor fight having big fight feels like few others, UFC 229 is set to be one of the most exciting cards of 2018. When UFC announced that there would be an event in Moscow, Russia, in the build for that card, many people naturally assumed that they were talking about the Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor fight.

This was not so. Mark Hunt and Aleksei Oleinik were announced to headline UFC Fight Night 136: Moscow, in the first ever UFC event to take place in Russia in the 25 year history of the company. With Hunt 44, and Oleinik 41, there were several people with doubts about the fight itself, and understandably so. However, neither men are quite done yet.

In the co-main event of the night, Jan Blachowicz and Nikita Krylov are in a fight which is critical for both fighters. Both of the men are not coming from particularly strong records and will look to impress in the fight.

Before heading into the main card, let's take a look at the Preliminary Card has in store.

Preliminary Card:

  1. Merab Dvalishvili vs. Terrion Ware (Bantamweight)
  2. Ramazan Emeev vs. Stefan Sekulic (Welterweight)
  3. Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Yandiev (Middleweight)
  4. Magomed Ankalaev vs. Marcin Prachnio (Light Heavyweight)
  5. Mairbek Taisumov vs. Desmond Green (Catchweight - 161 lbs)
  6. Rustam Khabilov vs. Kajan Johnson (Lightweight)
  7. Petr Yan vs. Jin Soo Son (Catchweight - 137 lbs)
  8. Khalid Murtazaliev vs. C.B. Dollaway (Middleweight)

Without any further ado let's get into the preview of the fights for the night in the main card.

#4 Alexey Kunchenko vs Thiago Alves:

UFC 183: Mein v Alves
UFC 183: Mein v Alves

The first fight of the main card for the night takes place between Alexey Kunchenko and Thiago Alves. Thiago Alves is not a green fighter in UFC, having fought in UFC for the past 13 years. With 22 wins and 12 losses to his name, while he had fought for titles, at no point was Alves able to make it and stand out of the crowd.

Anytime that it looked like he might be able to make it and break away to make his own name, something or the other dragged him back. Coming off a loss to Curtis Millender in a Fight Night event back in February, he will be looking to bounce back.

Alexey Kunchenko on the other hand, despite making his debut in the Octagon, is unbeaten in his M1 Challenge fights. He is the favourite for the fight, given the sort of form that Alves has been in of late.

#3 Andrei Arlovski vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov:

UFC 225: Whittaker v Romero 2
UFC 225: Whittaker v Romero 2

If there is one person who has lasted longer in UFC than anyone thought he would, it is Andrei Arlovski. He lost the Heavyweight Title to Tim Sylvia 12 years ago, but he was not going to let that keep him down. Since then he has continued fighting with a streaks of losses and wins interspersed between each other.

His last bout saw him lose, but there is no doubting his stamina, as he was still able to go the three whole rounds with his opponent.

His opponent, Shamil Abdurakhimov has lost 2 and won three of his fights since coming to UFC, and with a win in this fight will look to take himself into the next level of the company. Both the men have a lot of technique, and it should be more of a passive fight, while still being something that will be worthy of a watch.

#2 Jan Blachowicz vs. Nikita Krylov:

UFC Fight Night: Overeem v Arlovski
UFC Fight Night: Overeem v Arlovski

The co-main event of the night is one that is being looked forward to by most hardcore UFC fans. Krylov is finally returning to the company after his less than fascinating first run.

Coming into the company at the age of 21, he looked like a hot prospect, but his lack of stamina in the first fight saw him become somewhat of a joke. He left the company after a loss to Misha Cirkunov at UFC 206. His run in UFC was not as bad as most people remember it as, losing only 3 fights and winning six.

If there is one thing about Krylov, his fights are seldom boring.

His opponent only adds to the fight, with Blachowicz having seemingly finally settled down in UFC. When he first started, he seemed to lose a fight for each one that he won, and now has a three-fight win streak going.

A win in this fight will likely see either fight propelled back up the main card for future fights.

#1 Mark Hunt vs. Aleksei Oleinik:

UFC 200: Tate v Nunes
UFC 200: Tate v Nunes

Mark Hunt and Aleksei Oleinik are set to square off in a bout which showcases that Mixed Martial Arts in not a sport only for the young.

Hunt had said that he would let his contract lapse after two more fights, due to a disappointing run in UFC. However, Dana White may have different plans, as he recently said that he was prepared to offer Oleinik a contract after the Moscow fight depending on the performance he delivers.

Hunt's form is a question, and he also outweighs Oleinik massively, as revealed by the weigh-in.

However, Oleinik is not a pushover. While he has lost two of his seven fights in the UFC, there is no reason that he cannot win against Hunt. He has immense experience under his belt, with a record of 56-11-1. His last win against Albini leant him credence coming into this bout. He will also be fighting out of his own country, with UFC Fight Night 136 being held in Moscow.

With that being said, the fight is anything but a foregone concusion. Tune into UFC Fight Night 136 tomorrow to see what happens when these two behemoths meet.

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Edited by Rohit Nath
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