Prior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look at the main event of UFC Fight Night 136 as Mark Hunt takes on Oleksiy Oliynyk in the headliner of the first ever UFC event in Russia.
Mark Hunt (Record: 13-12-1, -175 Favorite, Power Ranking: C+)
The Auckland, New Zealand-born and Australian-trained fighter has been a fixture in the top ten of the UFC’s heavyweight rankings. Hunt lost his last fight by a decision to a surging Curtis Blaydes and is looking to return to the win column. It’s unlikely Hunt will appear in another title fight, but he’s still good enough to headline fight cards with his exciting style.
The eighth ranked heavyweight in the UFC, Super Samoan Mark Hunt is one of the most feared fighters in the division. In a division filled with tall fighters with superior reach, Hunt gets by on powerful and skillful striking. Of his thirteen career MMA wins, ten of them have come by knockout. He’s the only fighter to knockout Roy Nelson inside a UFC octagon. He did so with superior timing and powerful hands. That’s what you get with Mark Hunt; a talented striker in a rather unusual body for high level MMA. Hunt is as resilient as they come. His first fight with Antonio Silva was one of the all-time great fights as he was able to battle from nearly being finished multiple times to find his way to the scorecards. While he was outclassed by Stipe Miocic, he was able to survive nearly five rounds with the now heavyweight champion. He’s made some effort to work on his ground game; it’s still very much a liability. If a fighter is able to gain top control, he very much has an opportunity to finish the fight with a submission. Of his twelve career losses, six of them have been by submission. In a traditional stand up exchange, Hunt can compete with anybody in the UFC. When it evolves beyond that, Hunt is in for a tough bout.
Oleksiy Oliynyk (Record: 56-11-1, +145 Underdog, Power Ranking: C-)
The 41-year-old heavyweight headlines his first UFC card coming off an Ezekiel choke victory over Junior Albini. He’s had a nice run in the UFC winning five of his seven fights in the organization with four of them coming by submission.
A professional fighter of over 20 years, Oleksiy Oliynyk is certainly one of the last still competing from that era. He’s an International Master of Sambo as well as a fourth degree black belt in jiu jitsu. On the feet, Oliynyk is rather slow and plodding, but does possess decent power. His ultimate goal is to force opponents close so he can work in takedowns. Oliynyk is one of the best in the division from top position. His Ezekiel choke is the best in the sport and is tough to game plan for as he’s able to secure it from different angles on the mat and finish fights. If forced into a standing exchange, Oliynyk could be in for a difficult fight as his lack of speed is a major concern.
An interesting bout headlines UFN 136 as Mark Hunt goes to Russia to take on Oleksiy Oliynyk. This is a very difficult fight to predict as both fighters have major holes, but also a clear path to victory. Hunt is a much better striker on the feet and absolutely could knockout Oliynyk in a prolonged striking exchange. On the flip side, if the fight goes to the mat, Oliynyk is dangerous on the mat and is very much capable of submitting Hunt. Based on these scenarios and five round contest, it is best to wait for the Hunt by Knockout and Oliynyk by submission props as those are two clear ways this fight ends. It would be stunning if this bout went five rounds (Fight Doesn’t Go the Distance is -650) as stamina would really come into question. So, sit back and wait for the props to come out to make a bet on this bout. The moneyline prices on each fighter should not be considered in this bout.