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The preliminary card headliner comes in the Middleweight division, as Michal Oleksiejczuk takes on Sam Alvey. Coming off a loss to Dustin Jacoby, which ended a two-fight win streak, Oleksiejczuk returns to the octagon for the second time in 2022. Hovering around the division’s top fifteen, Oleksiejczuk has strung together two winning streaks during his time in the UFC. Yet, has not been able to win the big one to get over the hump. Meanwhile, Alvey will look to put an end to a spiraling nightmare that has spanned over four years and across eight fights. Given yet another opportunity to end said nightmare, Alvey will look to win his first fight since June of 2018.

It’s hard to make the UFC, it’s even harder to stay with the promotion. Somehow though, Alvey has managed to go on a historic 0-7-1 in the last eight fights, and sticky around. Perhaps bad luck has been involved though too, as Alvey has seen three split decisions go against him and one turn into a draw. Known as a striker, who has solid counter-punching and sneaky power, Alvey isn’t by any means an easy out on the feet. With stout takedown too, it’s hard to believe that he’s been this bad. However, with fifty-one professional fights and at times, questionable durability, Alvey may be wearing down from the accumulation of damage over his career. Looking to cash in on that, is Oleksiejczuk. A striker too, Oleksiejczuk does a good job pressuring his opponents and getting off his offense. Landing 4.75 significant strikes per minute, Oleksiejczuk is very active on the feet. Powerful as well, as he won eleven of his sixteen victories via knockout.

While the odds are heavily favoring Oleksiejczuk, I’m going with the heavy underdog Alvey. Knowing this pick may comeback to backfire, my reasoning comes down to a few things. For one, Oleksiejczuk will be dropping down to Middleweight for the first time since he started his career in 2014. Knowing that in one of his few bouts contested at Middleweight, he missed weight, I’m not certain this is going to be an easy cut. Two, Oleksiejczuk is known for his speed. Dropping down, and as we just saw with Miesha Tate’s Flyweight debut, speed doesn’t often translate. Especially given fighters in lower weight classes generally move quicker. Not saying that Alvey is explosive and athletic, but he’s more up to speed at Middleweight. A division in which he has made his career in and will aide him in ending this losing streak. With that said, I predict Alvey to win via decision.

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