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Fights To Watch Before UFC Saint Petersburg

Look Back At Eight Stand-Out Fights From The Stars Of UFC Saint Petersburg

On Saturday UFC makes its second trip to Russia, as top ten heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Aleksie Oleinik collide. These two veterans have combined for over 129 professional MMA fights, with 92 of their combined victories coming via stoppage.

It will be interesting to see how Overeem deals with the deadly submission game of Oleinik and what Oleinik does to best neutralize the devastating power of Overeem. Whichever fight is able to get their hand raised on Saturday moves themselves into prime position to make a run toward a shot.

The UFC Saint Petersburg features plenty of newcomers, with a majority of them coming for Russia or its neighboring countries. Make sure you tune into see which prospects get the ball rolling in their debuts.

Get ready for UFC Saint Petersburg by watching the past performances of some of the cards biggest stars and prospects. Watch the collection here: https://www.ufc.tv/category/ufc-st-petersburg-fights-to-watch

Alistair Overeem vs Mark Hunt
UFC 209 – March 4, 2017
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 04: (R-L) Alistair Overeem of the Netherlands kicks Mark Hunt of New Zealand in their heavyweight bout during the UFC 209 event at T-Mobile arena on March 4, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After a disappointing loss to at-the-time UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem needed to bounce back. He did just that by grinding out a hard fought win against the uber tough Mark Hunt.

Aleksei Oleinik vs Junior Albini
UFC 224 – May 12, 2018
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - MAY 12: Aleksei Oleinik (R) of Russia punches Junior Albini of Brazil in their heavyweight bout during the UFC 224 event at Jeunesse Arena on May 12, 2018 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC)

“The Boa Constructor” made the trip to Brazil in order to face the ranked Junior Albini and it’s safe to say that Aleskei Oleinik made the most of the opportunity even though “Baby” bloodied Oleinik early in the fight. Oleinik would go on to secure an Ezekiel choke from bottom position, forcing Albini to quickly tap and cementing the performance as one of the best in Oleinik’s UFC career.

Islam Makhachev vs Kajan Johnson
UFC Calgary – July 28, 2018
CALGARY, AB - JULY 28: (R-L) Islam Makhachev of Russia secures an arm bar submission against Kajan Johnson of Canada in their lightweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Scotiabank Saddledome on July 28, 2018 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Coming into UFC Calgary, Russia’s Islam Makhachev had put together an impressive three fight win-streak. He would go on to not only extend his streak to four-straight, but show just how dangerous he is against the explosive Kajan Johnson.

Marcelo Golm vs Christian Colombo
UFC Sao Paulo – October 28, 2017
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - OCTOBER 28: (R-L) Marcelo Golm punches Christian Colombo of Denmark in their heavyweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside the Ibirapuera Gymnasium on October 28, 2017 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

In his UFC debut and at the age of 25, Marcelo Golm showed why he is a true prospect by quickly dispatching of Christian Colombo.

Roxanne Modafferi vs Barb Honchak
TUF 27 Finale – July 6, 2018
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 06: (L-R) Roxanne Modafferi and Barb Honchak trade punches in their women's flyweight bout during The Ultimate Fighter Finale event inside The Pearl concert theater at Palms Casino Resort on July 6, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Getting a loss back is often a point of pride for fighters. Roxanne Modafferi made sure that when she had another crack at Barb Honchak, that she wouldn’t miss out on that opportunity. “The Happy Warrior” took care of business by dominating Honchak and making sure the fight didn’t fall into the hands of the judges.

Antonina Shevchenko vs Ji Yeon Kim
TUF 28 Finale – November 30, 2018
LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 30: (L-R) Antonina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan punches Ji Yeon Kim of South Korea during The Ultimate Fighter Finale event inside The Pearl concert theater at Palms Casino Resort on November 30, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Krzysztof Jotko vs Tamdan McCrory
UFC Ottawa – January 18, 2016
OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 18: (R-L) Krzysztof Jotko of Poland punches Tamdan McCrory in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside the TD Place Arena on June 18, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Middleweight Krzysztof Jotko entered his match-up with Tamdan McCrory on a three fight win-streak. The Polish fighter would go-on to finish his fight with McCrory in less than a minute.

Alexander Yakovlev vs George Sullivan
UFC Newark – Jan 30, 2016
NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 30: (R-L) Alexander Yakovlev kicks George Sullivan in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at the Prudential Center on January 30, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Alexander Yakovlev traveled to The Garden State in hopes of building momentum off his decision victory over Gray Maynard with an impact victory over George Sullivan. The fight lasted less than a round and just like that Yakovlev was heading back to Russia in style.

Watch the full UFC Saint Petersburg collection on UFC Fight Pass:  https://www.ufc.tv/category/ufc-st-petersburg-fights-to-watch

The UFC Saint Petersburg early prelims begin at 10:15am/7:15am ETPT on ESPN+ and the main card will air live on ESPN+ at 1pm/10:15am ETPT.

Gavin Porter is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com, follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCNews