Alexey Oleynik to face veteran Mark Hunt in main event of UFC’s first Moscow show
Less than two months remain until the first punch is thrown at the maiden Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event to take place in Moscow’s Olimpiyskiy Stadium - and the fight card is beginning to take shape.
It was confirmed on Thursday by the promotion that Oleynik (56-11-1) and Hunt (13-12-1-1) would tangle in the main event after moves to have the Russian face fellow submission expert Fabricio Werdum in the featured bout were shelved as the Brazilian former UFC heavyweight champion failed a United States Anti-Doping Authority (USADA) drug test.
Oleynik comes into the bout on the back of a 6-2 run in the UFC, with notable wins against Travis Browne, Junior Albini and Anthony Hamilton. The 41-year-old is the only fighter in the promotion’s history to have even one win by the rare Ezekiel Choke submission. He has two such win the in the UFC and eleven total on his professional record.
Fellow veteran Hunt, three years Oleniyk’s elder, is one of the more beloved heavyweights in recent UFC history. One of the best kickboxers in the sport, Hunt is considered to be perhaps the biggest power-puncher in the sport, with ten of his thirteen wins coming by knockout. He is also a former champion of the K-1 Grand Prix, the premier kickboxing tournament in the world.
The rest of the card is still being assembled but it has been confirmed that neither Khabib Nurmagomedov nor Zabit Magomedsharipov, the two biggest Russian stars on the UFC roster, will compete.
Meanwhile, the UFC announced plans on Wednesday of a partnership with M-1 Global to help consolidate and develop mixed martial arts talent in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.