The opening odds for the upcoming heavyweight main event at UFC Fight Night 136 between Mark Hunt and Aleksei Oleinik were recently released by the offshore sportsbooks, and here they are:
UFC Fight Night 136 Opening Odds
Saturday, September 15 at Olympic Stadium in Moscow, Russia
Mark Hunt -215
Aleksei Oleinik +165
And here are my initial thoughts on this bout:
Two top-10 heavyweights meet as Hunt takes on Oleinik in a fight that is scheduled for five rounds but likely won’t need 25 minutes to complete consdering the finishing ability of both men in this contenst.
Hunt (13-12-1, 1 NC) is coming off of a decision loss to Curtis Blaydes earlier this year and has only won one of his last four bouts, but it was a brutal knockout win over Derrick Lewis last year that is a remeinder you can never count out Hunt from any fight considering the amount of thunder he has in his fists. The man is 44 now but he remains one fo the toughest, most durable heavyweights in the sport and one of the biggest punchers. Hunt pretty much only loses to the top guys in the division and beats everyone else. In many ways he’s the ultimate gatekeeper but even at this advanced age he wants to make another title run.
Oleinik (56-11-1) is an impressive 5-2 in the UFC and in his last fight he submitted Junior Albini with an Ezekiel Choke, his second such choke in the UFC and fifth stoppage win overall. In his career he has 52 wins by stoppage including 44 submissions alone. As far as the ground game goes, there are very few men who can hang with Oleinik on the ground. Having said that, his striking has never been his strength and he has been knocked out five times in his career, including a TKO loss to Blaydes in the UFC. Having said that, anytime he gets a fight to the ground it can be over in a split second.
Considering Hunt’s KO power and Oleinik’s questionable chin it was fair to open Hunt as the favorite here. But Oleinik’s ground game has been absolutely amazing lately, and we have seen Hunt struggle on the ground at times throughout his career. If Oleinik can get a takedown, that could be the key to picking up the upset here. It’s a very difficult fight to call but considering the odds there might actually be some value on the dog to come through.