Alistair Overeem Fancied to continue resurgence against Aleksei Oleinik
St Petersburg, Russia (April 18th, 2019)– Alistair Overeem goes head-to-head with Aleksei Oleinik in St Petersburg, Russia this weekend aiming to prove he is still a force to be reckoned with in the UFC heavyweight ranks.
Overeem had been due to face Alexander Volkov, but the Russian was forced to pull out of the bout after being flagged by the UFC’s drug testing partner USADA.
‘The Demolition Man’ is UFC match odds and statistics heavily favored in the UFC match odds and statistics for the contest as he bids to take his record to 45-17.
He heads into the fight on the back of an impressive victory in Beijing over the previously unbeaten Sergey Pavlovich back in November.
Pavlovich started the bout well, but Overeem’s famed ground-and-pound style proved too hot to handle and the 38-year-old secured a deserved first round stoppage.
Overeem had previously suffered successive defeats against Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes to leave many pundits questioning his future in the sport.
However, the victory over Pavlovich proved he is no back-number and Overeem is confident he can follow up against Oleinik.
“I think I’m better everywhere, but he does have a very slick submission game,” Overeem told UFC.com.
“He also has some striking. He’s a very aggressive fighter and he pushes the pace. Still, never-the-less, I’m not worried.
“I focused on my own shape and I’m in phenomenal shape and I predict this will not go the distance.”
A change in his training regime worked the oracle for Overeem ahead of the Pavlovich fight, with a move to the Elevation Fight Team in Colorado giving him renewed vigour.
Having appeared to be on a downward spiral with back-to-back defeats, Overeem produced a classy performance against Pavlovich and he believes he will continue in the same vein in St Petersburg.
“There’s been a change in my fight style – it’s more aggressive, it’s more pushing forward,” he added.
“It’s something that we focused on for that fight. Now it’s a new opponent, a different fight, so some new skill-set will be shown on Saturday.”
Oleinik hasn’t fought since beating Mark Hunt by submission in Moscow last September to take his record to 57-11-1.
The 41-year-old has now won six of his eight fights in the UFC and will be eager to deliver another victory in front of his home crowd.
Oleinik has won each of his last four fights by submission, but he is yet to face anyone of Overeem’s quality and the fight could be over quickly.
Home advantage may give the Russian a boost, although fighting on foreign soil hasn’t fazed Overeem in the past.
The Dutchman beat Sergey Kaznovsky in the first round on his last visit to St Petersburg back in 2002 and he looks a good bet at odds of 2/5 to emerge victorious this weekend.