The Octagon heads to Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia on April 20 for UFC Fight Night 149, and the card is finally starting to shape up. Though the UFC has not officially announced the following bouts, various media sources have reported them, and it’s expected the UFC makes them official shortly. Here are my thoughts on the first three known fights for UFC St. Petersburg.
Alistair Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov, UFC Fight Night 149
The main event of UFC Fight Night 149 is scheduled to be a five-round heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Alexander Volkov. Denis Geyko broke the news. Overeem (44-17, 1 NC) is 9-6 overall in the UFC and is coming off of a TKO win over Sergey Pavlovich. Volkov (30-7) is 4-1 in the UFC and is coming off of a shocking last-second KO loss to Derrick Lewis. Prior to that he was on a six-fight win streak and was nearing title contention. Had Volkov lasted just 10 more seconds against Lewis he likely would have been fighting for a title by now. I’m hoping people forget just how close Volkov was to winning that fight, and maybe he’ll be the dog here against Overeem since he’s coming off of a knockout win. I just don’t think Overeem’s chin can be trusted against a long, lanky and powerful striker like Volkov, and I lean towards the Russian in this one.
Sergey Pavlovich vs. Marcelo Golm, UFC Fight Night 149
A fun heavyweight fight between Sergey Pavlovich and Marcelo Golm will also take place on this card. Via MMADNL, Igor Lazorin broke the news. Pavlovich (12-1) was undefeated as a pro with most of his wins coming by knockout before he himself was knocked out by Overeem in his UFC debut. That was too much of a step up for Pavlovich and the UFC is finally giving him a more favorable matchup in his home country. Golm (6-2) finished Christian Colombo in his Octagon debut but has since lost decisions to Arjan Bhullar and Tim Johnson. Golm just hasn’t been impressive in the UFC at all and although Pavlovich didn’t look good against Overeem he has several advantages in this fight. I expect the Russian to be a pretty big favorite to get his hand raised as a result.
Roxanne Modafferi vs. Antonina Shevchenko, UFC Fight Night 149
And finally, women’s flyweights Roxanne Modafferi and Antonina are set to fight at this event. MyMMANews.com broke the fight first. Modafferi (22-15) is 1-3 overall in the UFC and is coming off of a decision loss to Sijara Eubanks. She’s had a bit of a career revival since moving down to flyweight, but is clearly at an athletic disadvantage in this matchup. Shevchenko (7-0) is the sister of UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko and she’s so far 1-0 in the Octagon with a decision win over Ji Yeon Kim. This is a very favorable matchup for Shevchenko over someone who can’t match her in the striking and I expect her to win a clear decision in this one. Look for her to be a big favorite to collect the win.