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“Die with Memories, Not with Dreams”

The UFC is heading to St. Petersburg, Russia this Saturday, Apr 20 for a heavyweight showdown airing on ESPN plus. The UFC had its first show in Moscow, Russia September 15, 2018 for UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Oleinik. Aleksei “The Boa Constrictor” Oleinik defeated Mark Hunt via rear naked choke at 4:26 of the very first round. Oleinik will face off in the main event against Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem. Both fighters have a combined 133 MMA fights and have a propensity for finishing fights.

A post shared by Alistair Overeem (@alistairovereem) on Apr 4, 2019 at 10:56am PDT

Alistar Overeem won the K-1 Grand Prix in 2010 by defeating UFC newcomer Gokhan Saki in the semi-finals and defeating Peter Aerts for the championship, while simultaneously holding the Strike Force heavyweight title. Overeem is credited as the most accurate striker in the UFC. Alistar’s older brother Valentijin first introduced him to MMA when he was 15 years old, where he dedicated his life to martial arts shortly after meeting former UFC heavyweight champion, Bas Rutten. The Reem made his MMA pro debut 24 October 1999 when he was 19 years old against Ricardo Fyeet in the It’s Time MMA promotion, where he won by guillotine choke in the first round. Overeem made his UFC debut 30 December 2011 at UFC 141 where he fought former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in the main event. Alistar defeated Brock 2:26 in the first round by TKO (body kicks and punches), earning himself a title shot against champion Junior dos Santos. Shortly after the fight, Overeem failed his mandatory doping test for elevated testosterone that was 1.5 times the permitted level. The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Alistar for 9 months, even though Alistar claimed the elevated levels were due to medications he was taking for the flu.

A post shared by Alistair Overeem (@alistairovereem) on Nov 24, 2018 at 7:09am PST

Alistar returned to the UFC in 2013 where he lost 3 out of his next 4 fights. He then went on a 4-fight win streak with notable wins over Junior dos Santos and his former teammate Andrei Arlovski, which earned him his first UFC title match against Stipe Miocic at UFC 203. Alistar fell short against Miocic, losing via knockout at 4:27 of the first round. Overeem went on to KO Mark Hunt (by knees) in round 1 and edged out a majority decision win against former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum. Overeem went on the lose his next two fights in devastating fashion against Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes. Ngannou earned a title shot after one of the most brutal knockouts in UFC history over Overeem at 1:42 of the first round. Curtis Blades beat Overeem by TKO in the third round after splitting his forehead wide open with a myriad of elbow strikes. Alistar returned to the octagon November 24, 2018 against undefeated Russian fighter, Sergei Pavlovich. Pavlovich had a 12-0 record and was a -140 favorite to win the fight. Overeem made quick work of the Russian and defeated him via TKO (ground and pound) 4:21 of the first round. Overeem credited his victory to his new camp, Team Elevation. Alistar switched camps after his loss to Blades, who is also a member of Team Elevation.

Просто хорошее фото 😉 Just a good photo .@ETFMG_CEO @ETFMG $MJ#алексейолейник#alexeyoleynik#sport#mma#тренировка#мма#ETFMG#MJ#ETFHeavyweight#ufc#oleynik — Alexey Oleynik (@oleynikufc) April 18, 2019

Aleksei Oleinik has a total of 45 wins by submission and holds 2 of the only Ezekiel chokes in UFC history. Oleinik is a submission specialist with 10 Ezekiel chokes and 11 different submissions in MMA competition. Oleinik won 4/5 of his last UFC fights, all by submission. His one loss out of his last five came at the hands of Curtis Blades. The fight was ruled a TKO by Dr. stoppage after the referee stopped the action because of an illegal kick by Blades that grazed Olenik’s ear. Olenik reported to the referee that he could not continue due to the strikes he sustained in the prior 2 rounds. Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier had some interesting insight into Olenik’s fighting style during the fight, where they stated:

“They say don’t get your head and chest behind your legs (referencing Olenik’s stance)” Daniel Comier
“If he gets in there with a real world class striker, I doubt he’s gonna want to stand that way. Imagine what Overeem would do with someone moving like that.” -Rogan Joe Rogan

With both fighter’s experience and fighting styles, this fight is almost certainly going to end before the final bell. The heavyweight division is fragmented at the moment, with DC out due to a back injury he sustained before UFC 230 due to a “sneeze”. Cormier also mentioned that he would retire by March 20, 2019, even though it seems like there are at least 2 more fights left for him before he retires. Dana White stated in his last press conference that he sees Cormier fighting Brock and Jones before he retires, although he stated that he has not started negotiations with Brock. Whoever wins this fight will definitely be on the short list for a title fight in the next year or two. The UFC community is still reeling from the amazing fights of UFC 236 and I’m sure UFC Russia will continue with that momentum. In the words of Alistar

Overeem, “Die with memories, not with dreams”. Alistar Overeem

A post shared by Alistair Overeem (@alistairovereem) on Feb 22, 2019 at 10:54am PST

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