Get ready to rise and shine this Saturday for UFC Fight Night Moscow: Hunt vs. Oleinik.

Ranked Heavyweight veterans Mark Hunt and Aleksei Oleinik headline the first UFC event to be held in Russia. Plenty of Russian and Dagestani fighters will be competing throughout the card, so I expect an exciting atmosphere inside the Olimpiysky Stadium in Moscow.

Keep your eye out for Merab Devalishvillli. Training out of LAW MMA in Garden City,NY Team Serra-Longo product, and native of Georgia 🇬🇪, Merab, kicks off the UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims against Terrion “Flash” Ware. Working alongside fellow Bantamweight Aljamain Sterling, Merab has become a great teammate and welcomed part of the family at LAW MMA, demonstrating day in and day out that he belongs in there competing amongst the best in the world in mixed martial arts. Let’s go Merab, it’s your turn!

Fight Night Moscow will be streamed in its entirety on UFC Fight Pass. Action begins Saturday morning with

UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims 10:30AM/ET
UFC Fight Pass Main Card 2:00PM/ET

Fight Night Moscow Main Card Predictions

Alexey Kunchenko (-480) vs. Thiago Alves (+375)

Kicking off the Main Card, former M-1 Global Champion Alexey “Wolverine” Kunchenko (18-0-0) makes his promotional debut against UFC veteran Thiago “Pitbull” Alves (27-12-0). Kunchenko boasts thirteen knockouts on his clean fight resume, and is currently the number one ranked Welterweight in Russia. His opponent, Thiago Alves, has lost a step, having dropped three of his last four bouts. Alves lost via Second Round KO against Curtis Millender in his most recent appearance at Fight Night Austin in February. The Pitbull will be seeking his first knockout victory since 2015, and look to dethrone Kunchenko from the ranks from unbeaten, while the Wolverine looks to make some noise by taking out a notable name in his Octagon debut.

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Kunchenko via Decision

D’Bo’s Picks: Kunchenko via Second Round KO

#12 Andrei Arlovski (+105) vs. #14 Shamil Abdurakhimov (-125)

In a clash of ranked Heavyweights, Andrei “the Pitbull” Arlovski (27-16-0,1NC) faces Dagestani Shamil “Abrek” Abdurakhimov (18-4-0) in hostile territory. Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski is coming of a strong performance in which he lost a controversial decision to the Aussie up and comer Tai Tuivasa at UFC 225 only three months ago. Just when you are ready to count Arlovski out, he seems to bounce back with another resurgence in his storied career. Prior to his decision loss to Tuivasa, Andrei picked up consecutive wins over Junior Albini and Stefan Struve.

After losing to Timothy Johnson in his promotional debut in 2015, Shamil Abdurakhimov has been victorious in three of his last four bouts, most recently knocking out Chase Sherman in the First Round of their bout at UFC Shanghai in November 2017. A win over “Pitbull” Arlovski would show that Shamil has plans to stick around and continue his climb through the Heavyweight division. This should be a violent, yet competitive and entertaining contest.

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Abdurakhimov via First Round KO

D’Bo’s Picks: Arlovski via First Round KO

#4 Jan Blachowicz (-105) vs. Nikita Krylov (-115)

“The Miner” Nikita Krylov (24-5-0) returns to the Octagon in the Co-Main slot against top five contender, Jan Blachowicz (21-7-0. Jan Blachowicz has really come into his own as of late, riding a three fight win streak punctuated with Performance Bonuses earned in wins over Devin Clark and Jimi Manuwa. Blachowicz’s unanimous decision win over Jimi Manuwa in the Co-Main event of UFC London in March of this year, propelled him into the top five of the Light Heavyweight division. This is a high risk, low reward fight for Blachowicz to take against a currently unranked opponent, who has a serious pension for ending fights early. As in Krylov has never gone the distance in 29 professional MMA fights. The Miner
Is ready for his second UFC stint after going 4-0, with four finishes in less than one calendar with Russian based, Fight Nights Global (FNG).

This one could go either way.I’m leaning towards the finesse and precision of Krylov to prevail against the braun and brute strength of Blachowicz in what should be a very fun fight.

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Krylov via Second Round KO

D’Bo’s Picks: Blachowicz via Decision

MAIN EVENT

#8 Mark Hunt (-210) vs. #11 Aleksei Oleinik (+175)

“The Super Samoan” Mark Hunt (13-12-1, 1NC) headlines the first UFC card in Russia against savvy veteran “the Boa Constrictor” Aleksei Oleinik (56-11-1). Fighting out of Moscow, Oleinik has been rewarded with a headline fight at home against one of the all time greats on the heels of earning his third UFC Performance bonus for submitting Junior Albini at UFC 224. Oleinik has now won three of his last four inside the Octagon, and another win over Hunt would position the Boa Constrictor nicely for a Heavyweight title run.

Since his No Contest to Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 in 2016, the Super Samoan is 1-2. Most recently losing via unanimous decision to Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221, Hunt earned a Fight of the Night bonus for his win over The Black Beast Derrick Lewis in Auckland last year, following a third round knockout loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 209. Hunt has the skill and power to put anyone to sleep, but I have been nothing but impressed with Oleinik, who continues to pile up the wins and finish fights in unimaginable ways in the latter stage of his career. Hunt is shaped rather awkward to be submitted, but I won’t ever doubt the Boa Constrictor’s ability to cut off his opponents blood flow.
Oleinik by early surprise.

Danny’s Crystal Ball Prediction🔮: Oleinik via First Round Submission

D’Bo’s Picks: Oleinik via Third Round Submission

The UFC returns to Brazil next weekend for UFC Fight Night São Paulo: Manuwa vs. Santos. Let us know what you think in the Comments section below, and enjoy the fights!! 👊🏻