(Click on the fight below and then scroll down to see in-fight live stats and full results, courtesy of Fight Analytics. The first UFC on ESPN+ 7: Overeem vs. Oleinik bout from Saint Petersburg, Russia, is scheduled to begin on Saturday, April 20, at 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT.)
UFC on ESPN+ 7: Overeem vs. Oleinik marks the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s return to Russia, but its first foray into Saint Petersburg. The heavyweights top the card with Alistair Overeem facing Aleksei Oleinik fighting in the main event on ESPN’s digital streaming service.
Overeem and Oleinik are friends and former training partners that have no personal heat leading up to the fight. They are simply two world-class athletes looking to notch the victory and take another step toward UFC heavyweight championship contention.
Though Overeem (44-17, 1NC) dropped back-to-back bouts to Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes before rebounding with knockout victory over Sergey Pavlovich, a victory over Oleinik would keep his name etched at the top of the division. Overeem has been at or near the top of the heavyweight class for the better part of two decades, but at 38 years of age, he’s not done just yet.
Oleinik has flown somewhat under the radar for much of his career, but at 41, he has amassed a 57-11-1 record over his nearly 23-year career. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that he has submitted 45 of the 57 opponents he has defeated.
Overeem, however, has only been submitted one time in his career, that being a Kimura submission loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum 13 years ago. Oleinik has also admitted that he was unable to submit Overeem when they trained together.
It’s a bout that harkens back to the days of the grappler vs. the striker, promising one of the more interesting heavyweight match-ups that we’ve seen in some time.
The card also features the first UFC women’s bout in Russia, as Roxanne Modafferi squares off with Antonina Shevchenko in a flyweight contest.
Check out the MMAWeekly.com Rumors page for more scheduled events and rumored fight cards.