UFC: Fight Night 149 Squared Up: Overeem vs Oleinik

Jason Paglia

Friday, April 19, 2019 8:11 AM UTC

Friday, Apr. 19, 2019 8:11 AM UTC

Main Event Breakdown by Jason Paglia

<p>The UFC travels to Saint Petersburg, Russia for only the second time in the promotion’s history for UFC: Fight Night 149. Once again, the UFC has shown how little they care about fighting in Russia by supplying the Russian fight fans with another mediocre fight card, at best. The main event for 149 is especially lackluster, and that’s hard to do considering it’s a Heavyweight fight. The main event between Alistair Overeem and Aleksei Oleinik is a fight without title implications. A submission specialist and an aging Heavyweight legend. If you have followed these main event breakdowns, you know I have been very tough on the product the UFC has put forth in recent months. This card is the perfect example as to why. Do I love that we get to watch a UFC event every week? In theory yes, but if these are the fight’s we have to watch every week then no. Zero title implications and regional fighters that have taken their local promotion by storm only to be squashed like a bug by a UFC underling from the contender series, no thanks. We cashed a ticket last week in an epic PPV title fight for the ages. This week we might fall asleep before the fight is over but nonetheless, let’s cash another ticket.</p><p><strong>ALISTAIR OVEREEM (44-17) vs ALEKSEI OLEINIK (57-11-1)</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong><img alt src="https://usatmmajunkie.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/alistair-overeem.jpg?w=640&amp;h=420&amp;crop=1" style="width:600px;height:394px" /></strong></p><p> </p><h2><strong>Alistair Overeem:</strong></h2><p>There are only two fighters in the conversation for greatest Heavyweight striker of all-time, Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem. What Overeem has done in his career has been truly special. He is a former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion, DREAM Heavyweight Champion, K-1 World Grand Prix Champion and one of only two fighters in history to hold both an MMA &amp; K-1 Kickboxing titles at the same time. What gets lost in Overeem’s brilliant striking is a very underrated grappling game. He has excellent takedown defense and while Overeem does not come from a wrestling background, he has a very solid base and top control game. He was once labeled the best heavyweight grappler in Europe before Josh Barnett and Fabricio Werdum took over the mantle. Overeem is now in the twilight of his career, but his grappling is still serviceable. So, lets take a look at Alistair Overeem’s statistics.</p><h2><strong>― STATS ―</strong></h2><p>•<strong>Method of Victory •Significant Strikes </strong>(per/min)<strong> •Takedowns </strong></p><p>▪22 wins by TKO ▪ 3.53 Landed ▪ 62.79% Accuracy</p><p>▪5 wins by Decision ▪ 1.93 Absorbed ▪ 72.37% Defended</p><p>▪17 win by Submission</p><h2><strong>― PROS ―</strong></h2><p>• <strong>Striking</strong> (Alistair Overeem is one of the greatest Heavyweight strikers in MMA history, period.)</p><p>• <strong>Clinch </strong>(Overeem’s clinch skills began in his kickboxing background and transitioned seamlessly to mixed martial arts. His left knee to the body has ended many fights, although in his latter years he has relied more heavily on his left kick to the body. Regardless, he is still deadly striking in the clinch.)</p><p>• <strong>Takedown Defense </strong>(I have written this repeatedly in these articles, but this is how you handicap MMA. STYLES MAKE FIGHTS. A pro in one fight might be a con in another. Aleksei Oleinik is not going to stand and strike with Overeem because he knows that won’t go well for him. Oleinik will try and take Overeem down and keep him there as often as possible. Overeem is getting older but one thing he has maintained is a strong takedown defense. He defends takedown attempts just under 73% of the time. For a heavyweight fighter that is rock solid.)</p><h2><strong>― CONS ―</strong></h2><ul> <li><strong>Chin </strong>(Alistair Overeem has had chin problems throughout every phase of his fighting career, but recently it has eroded substantially. It is the biggest con any Heavyweight fighter can have. Can you still win fights when a strong wind knocks you out? Yes. You become what Overeem has become, incredibly cautious. His chin was never great but, since his fight against Werdum at UFC 213 it’s been an ACME bolder rolling down-hill.)</li> <li><strong>Age</strong> (One of Overeem’s greatest strengths his entire career has now been eroded by father time. He has always been a physical freak. His speed, power and athleticism has taken him as high as you can go in the fight game. The problem is that age eventually kicks you right in the d**k and slowly starts to take that all away. He may still look the part, but he is 60% of what he once was. 60% is still enough to win fights though.)</li> <li><strong>Chin </strong>(Did I mention that my 10-year old daughter might be able to knock him out? NO? Ok well… I think you get the point.)</li></ul><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://www.mmanytt.se/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/UFC-FIGHT-NIGHT-SIOUX-FALLS_0028-3-1000x652.jpg" style="width:600px;height:391px" /></p><h2><strong>Aleksei Oleinik:</strong></h2><p>Aleksei Oleinik has a skill set you rarely see in the Heavyweight division of any MMA promotion. The word specialist is overused by journalists that write about this sport, but Aleksei Oleinik is truly a submission specialist. When 45 of your 57 wins comes by a specific way, no matter what its or who the fighter is, they are a specialist. Oleinik just happens to specialize in choking the last breath out of you, literally. They call this cat the “Boa Constrictor” for a reason. The problem with Oleinik is he brings nothing else to the dance… like at all. Every Heavyweight fighter has a certain level of power because of the weight behind the punch. Oleinik has minimal striking skills at best. His gas tank is subpar and his fight IQ in terms of submissions is excellent but his fight IQ in general leaves a lot to be desired. Let’s take a look at Aleksei Oleinik’s statistics.</p><h2><strong>― STATS ―</strong></h2><p>•<strong>Method of Victory •Significant Strikes </strong>(per/min)<strong> •Takedowns </strong></p><p>▪8 wins by TKO ▪ 3.06 Landed ▪ 39.13% Accuracy</p><p>▪4 wins by Decision ▪ 3.28 Absorbed ▪ 11.11% Defended</p><p>▪45 wins by Submission</p><h2><strong>― PROS ―</strong></h2><p>• <strong>Submissions (A true specialist. 45 of 57 wins have come by choking the last breath out of you. The only fighter in UFC history to win by Ezekiel Choke, and he has done it twice. A straight murderer on the ground. I highlighted this PRO because it is the only pro I see in Aleksei Oleinik.</strong></p><h2><strong>― CONS ―</strong></h2><ul> <li><strong>Striking </strong>(Oleinik shows no real technique on the feet. He doesn’t cut angles. He doesn’t throw combinations. He slowly moves forward looking for the one punch knockout and when it doesn’t come, he inches closer to his opponents to reach the clinch position. From there he works on the takedown. I’m not sure if he knows whether or not he can use his feet in the Octagon. I have never seen him throw a kick. When you absorb more significant strikes per minute then you land, you are not good at striking.)</li> <li><strong>Takedown Defense </strong>(For as good as of a submission artist as Oleinik is, his takedown defense is brutal. If Overeem wanted to, he could takedown Aleksei Oleinik at will. Oleinik only defends 11% of the takedowns attempted on him. That is really really really bad.)</li> <li><strong>Speed</strong> (Turtles have won races against Oleinik.)</li> <li><strong>Stamina </strong>(While Alistair Overeem has slowed down significantly in his latter years, he has gone 5 rounds before, and has not been completely dead at the end of it. His Gas tank leaves a lot to be desired, but we have yet to see Aleksei Oleinik go 5 rounds in the Octagon before. In fact, Oleinik has only gone 3 rounds once in the UFC. The fact that this has the potential to go the distance has to be scary for Oleinik backers, it is a complete unknown. I don’t bet on complete unknowns in sports, especially this sport.)</li></ul><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--QzrUoU1e--/c_scale,f_auto,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/17wwvcry020hhjpg.jpg" style="width:600px;height:338px" /></p><h2><strong>THE VERDICT</strong></h2><p>Alistair Overeem is in desperate need of a win. He has the advantage in this fight almost everywhere. The only thing that has beat Overeem the last couple years is that god awful chin he has. Against Aleksei Oleinik he should not have that problem. Overeem has become incredibly cautious of fighters in the stand up because he knows how bad his chin is. Aleksei Oleinik throws no combinations, has no hand speed, and slowly moves forward trying to get a hold of you for a takedown. If Overeem is smart, he will do two things. #1 stay at range, use that ridiculous kickboxing background and never let Oleinik get near him while he wins round after round picking him apart from the outside. Or #2 He shoots the double leg and puts Oleinik on his back and works the ground and pound in hopes for a stoppage by the referee. That might sound counterproductive because Oleinik is so goo on the ground, but he hasn’t impressed me on his back other than the Junior ALbini fight. He only defends 11% of takedowns so it will be right there for Overeem if he wants it. In the end I think Overeem is too smart to let Oleinik take him to the ground. He knows if he defends that chin properly Oleinik isn’t exactly a knockout threat and he knows Oleinik’s path to victory. I think Overeem avoids both on his way to a MUCH needed victory.</p><h2><strong>TOP BETTING TIPS</strong></h2><p><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=153&amp;a=8ec6399a-9df1-4c52-b272-39e6428836a6" target="_blank" title="UFC Betting Odds"><em><strong>ALISTAIR OVEREEM to win by TKO at 2/3 (1.66) with Betfair</strong></em></a></p><h2><strong>(Bonus Parlay)</strong></h2><p><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=153&amp;a=8ec6399a-9df1-4c52-b272-39e6428836a6" target="_blank" title="UFC Betting Odds"><em><strong>ALISTAIR OVEREEM and ANTONINA SHEVCHENKO to win at 1/1 (2.0) with Betfair</strong></em></a></p>
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