Main Card for UFC Fight Night 136
Mark Hunt vs. Oleksiy Oleynyk
The main event of the evening features a clear striker vs grappler match-up, with Hunt being one of division’s most renowned KO specialists, while Oleynyk is lethal with submissions.
There’s a big risk for Hunt here as he’s definitely vulnerable on the mat and if he is taken down then his chances of escaping any incoming submission attempts from a proven finisher like Oleynyk are low, but he does have very good takedown defense and has kept a number of other talented grapplers at bay in the past.
On the feet Hunt has a major advantage and Oleynyk has been stopped multiple times in the past via strikes and as such I think there’s a good chance he’ll move into the path of an incoming bomb while in pursuit of a takedown are high and we’ll see Oleynyk stretched out on the canvas sometime in the opening five minutes.
Prediction: Mark Hunt wins by KO in Rd1 – BET NOW
Nikita Krylov vs. Jan Blachowicz
It was something of a surprise when Krylov left the UFC in late 2016 despite having won 5 of his past 6 fights to pursue other fight opportunities in his native Russia, but now he’s back and at just 26 years-old he’s still got a lot to offer.
Krylov is an aggressive, high-output fighter who is a proven finisher – with all 24 of his career victories having come inside the distance by either strikes or submission.
In Blachowicz he’s facing a 35-year-old fighter who has successfully navigated past a rough spell in his career and his now on a three-fight winning streak, and put in one of his best performances to date against Jimi Manuwa last time out.
Blachowicz is a good grappler and is starting to become less ponderous in the striking department, but I think Krylov’s higher energy, volume and forward pressure are going to give him the edge here and he’ll emerge with a victory via strikes within the first ten minutes.
Prediction: Nikita Krylov wins by TKO in Rd2 – BET NOW
Andrei Arlovski vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
Despite having suffered multiple stumbling blocks during his career, Arlovski has always eventually managed to fight his way back to winning ways in the end, and so a recent loss to Tai Tuivasa that snapped a two-fight winning streak isn’t likely to throw him off his stride too much.
In Abdurakhimov he has an opponent who he matches up fairly well with, being the better technical striker of the two and holding the power and speed advantage, despite now being 39-years-old. Admittedly, his chin is always a question mark, but while Adurakhimov is a capable kickboxer who likes to work off the counter, he’s not especially hard-hitting for a heavyweight.
Abdurakhimov is a good grappler though and working from the clinch and looking for takedowns could well be a significant part of his strategy, but Arlovski is generally adept at keeping fights standing and I think he’ll be able to do so here for the most part and outstrike his opponent to emerge with a decision victory.
Prediction: Andrei Arlovski wins by decision – BET NOW
Thiago Alves vs. Alexey Kunchenko
Alves hasn’t really made a significant impact in the Octagon for quite some time and while at first glance getting drawn up against a UFC newcomer here might seem like a chance to get back to winning ways, the reality is that he’s going up against a major talent in Kunchenko.
Kunchenko is an M-1 champion, wields an impressive 18-0 record to date and the 34-year-old is a well-rounded fighter who has strong boxing, good muay thai and can also wrestle too.
Alves has very good muay thai and solid takedown defense, but he’s not as sharp, dangerous or durable as he was earlier in his career and so I think he’s going to find himself coming off second-best against the fresher, hungrier Kunchenko here, leading to a second round TKO stoppage.
Prediction: Alexey Kunchenko wins by TKO in Rd2 – BET NOW
(Predicted winners in bold)
C.B. Dollaway vs. Khalid Murtazaliev
Petr Yan vs. Jin Soo Son
Kajan Johnson vs. Rustam Khabilov
Desmond Green vs. Mairbek Taisumov
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Marcin Prachnio
Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Yandiev
Ramazan Emeev vs. Stefan Sekulic
Merab Dvalishvili vs. Terrion Ware