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
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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