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Can Overeem KO home favourite? Get UFC Russia betting tips

Leigh Copson 18 Apr 2019
Alistair Overeem (credit:Jeff Brown/Zuma Press/PA Images)

UFC Russia predictions for Saturday, April 20. Will Russian heavyweight Alexey Oleynik delight his home crowd by recording the biggest victory of his career, or can Alistair Overeem tame ‘The Boa Constrictor’ to catapult himself back into the top five in the division? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips for UFC Russia.

Alistair Overeem v Alexey Oleynik


The UFC is making only its second appearance in Russia and once again the company has put home favourite Alexey Oleynik up against one the heavyweight division’s legendary fighters. Oleynik was able to submit Mark Hunt inside five minutes last September, but can he now follow that up and make it three wins in a row – the best run of his UFC career – by beating Alistair Overeem on Saturday night?

Overeem, of course, needs no introduction. He has been one of the biggest names in mixed martial arts for well over a decade and he has held countless high profile titles with the exception of the UFC heavyweight title. Winning that would complete his legendary career, but his sole attempt to claim the sport’s biggest prize ended in disappointment as he was stopped by Stope Miocic a couple of years ago and since then his form has been mixed with three wins and two defeats coming in his last five outings.

There were high-profile wins over Mark Hunt and Fabricio Werdum during this run, but there were also KO/TKO defeats at the hands of Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes, so in all honesty it has become a little difficult to predict what Overeem will do from one fight to the next. When he is on his game he can take out the very best, but there is also now an air of vulnerability about him and Oleynik will be aware of that. So can he capitalise on that to claim the biggest win of his own lengthy career?

This fight is your typical striker vs. grappler match-up. Overeem has shown his submission skills over the years, forcing 17 opponents to tap out, but it is his striking skills that he is most known for. Oleynik, on the other hand, does have eight KO/TKO successes on his CV, but he 45 of his 57 professional victories have come via submission so that tells you all you need to know when it comes to his biggest strength. The question is who will impose their gameplan successfully and dictate how the fight plays out?

Oleynik’s route to success is getting hold of Overeem and getting him to the mat, but ‘The Boa Constrictor’ does not boast a brilliant takedown accuracy and his opponent has successfully defended almost three quarters of the takedown attempts he has faced in his career. Couple that takedown defence with Overeem’s elite-level, and patient, striking game and you have the recipe for him to be able to stifle Oleynik. Therefore I am backing ‘The Reem’ to come out victorious here.


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