The UFC is back in action, as the company embarks on what potentially could be a new hotbed in there first ever event in Russia. Headlining the event, is knockout artist Mark Hunt, who will share the main event spotlight with Russia’s own Alexsei Oleinik. Hunt, is coming off a decision loss to Curtis Blaydes. A fight in which he nearly won in the opening stanza with his ridiculous power. As for Oleinik, the submission specialist is coming off a victory by yet again, an ezekiel choke. A rare submission that seemingly has only been pulled off in an MMA fight by few, yet Oleinik has made it his bread and butter. As far as I’m concerned, one more ezekiel choke and it should be renamed to the Oleinik choke.
Anyways, to the Predictions!
UFC Fight Night 136 Main Card (2 p.m. ET):
265 lbs.: Mark Hunt vs. Aleksei Oleinik – As much as I love when Oleinik fights, I think his willingness to strike early puts him at serious risk in this fight. He’s too tough for his own good and against someone with power like Hunt, toughness will go out the window. So with that, I have Hunt winning knockout.
205 lbs.: Jan Blachowicz vs. Nikita Krylov – The UFC made a huge mistake when they let Krylov go. Not only is the Light Heavyweight division old and shallow, but Krylov has all the tools to be a contender. On the other hand, Blachowicz is no push over and is enjoying a three-fight win streak. Crazy, given that Blachowicz was 1-3 in his last four fights prior to the streak. Anyways, as for a prediction, I have Blachowicz. His improvement in takedown defense and offense has led the way in this win streak. Combine that with his already stout striking abilities and Blachowicz is trending in the right direction of becoming a contender. A win here certainly calls for a top five fight. So with that, I have Blachowicz winning via decision.
265 lbs.: Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Andrei Arlovski – This is a tough fight to call. Arlovski undoubtedly is a better striker, but Abdurakhimov undoubtedly is a better grappler. In Arlovski’s last few fights, he’s used takedowns to aid him in victory. However, those fights weren’t against anyone with takedown defense, hence the exploitation. In what should be a close fight, I’m going with Abdurakhimov. I believe that he’s faced a much heavier hitter in Derrick Lewis, not only surviving for 4 rounds, but taking him down at will for pretty much three rounds. So with that, I have Abdurakhimov via decision.
170 lbs.: Thiago Alves vs. Alexey Kunchenko – Again, I have no idea about Kunchenko. I do though know that Alves is pretty much done, but then again he has shown to be a tough out in the first round of fights. After that, he’s gassed and usually finished. On the basis of lack of knowledge yet again, I’ll go with the grizzled veteran Alves winning the fight via first round knockout.
UFC Fight Night 136 ‘Prelims’ Undercard (10:30 a.m ET):
185 lbs.: Khalid Murtazaliev vs. C.B. Dollaway – Honestly, I know nothing about Murtazaliev. If he has any power, he probably should be able to crack Dollaway’s disintegrating chin. However, on the basis of lack of knowledge, I’ll side with the American Dollaway to avoid getting finished and win via decision.
135 lbs.: Petr Yan vs. Jin Soo Son – Yan is a legit contender at Bantamweight. On the other hand, Son is just fodder for Yan’s rise to contender status. So with that, I have Yan via KO.
155 lbs.: Kajan Johnson vs. Rustam Khabilov – Johnson just fought a Russian wrestler and got steamrolled. The same will happen here, except without the finish, so with that, I have Khabilov via decision.
155 lbs.: Desmond Green vs. Mairbek Taisumov– Green is an solid fighter, but he doesn’t have a dynamic striking game like Taisumov. Throw in the fact that Green is a counter puncher and that just opens up space for Taisumov to get off whatever he wants. So with that, I predict that Taisumov eventually finishes Green via TKO.
205 lbs.: Magomed Ankalaev vs. Marcin Prachnio – Ankaleav made a mental error in his UFC debut, one in which cost him the fight with 1 second left. This time around, he will right those wrongs with a spectacular knockout. Lock it in.
185 lbs.: Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Yandiev – Both men are undefeated, so someone’s O has to go. My prediction is that Yandiev blitzes Johnson early and tries to get him out in the first round, but the early storm is weathered. A tired Yandiev, one who hasn’t sniffed the second round, will be taken down, controlled and ultimately finished by a fresher Johnson.
170 lbs.: Ramazan Emeev vs. Stefan Sekulic – Emeev is a name to watch. At Middleweight, I thought he was a potential contender. Now 15 pounds lighter, he should find it easier to rag doll opponents around with his gorilla strength and controlling style. So with that, I have Emeev via dominant decision.
135 lbs.: Merab Dvalishvili vs. Terrion Ware – This might as well be considered a pink slip fight, as both men are a combined 0-5 in the UFC. As for a prediction, I have Ware. I believe that if he keeps this fight upright, on the feet, his volume striking will guide him to his first UFC victory.