Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently announced its plans to stage an event in Moscow, Russia for the first time ever on September 15, 2018. And though the Fight Night event won’t feature current Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, it will be headlined by an intriguing matchup nonetheless.
According to MMA Fighting’s Helwani, former UFC Heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum will face fellow grappler Alexey Oleynik in a five-round main event showdown inside Olympic Stadium.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Alexey Oleynik is set for UFC Moscow, sources confirm.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 21, 2018
During a recent edition of The MMA Hour, Helwani confirmed the bout would headline the event.
Alexey is fresh off a quick, first-round submission victory (Ezekiel choke) of Junior Albini at UFC 224 a few weeks ago (see it again here). The win was his third in last four outings. As for Werdum, he hasn’t competed since getting knocked out by Alexander Volkov last March at UFC Fight Night 127, which stopped his two fight win streak, ending his title dreams momentarily.
The matchup is a grappler’s dream come true, as both big men have made a living off twisting their opponents like pretzels throughout their careers. And while Werdum is considered to have the best submission game in the land of the giants, Oleynik isn’t far behind, as he has scored numerous rare submission victories, including a pair of scarf-hold chokes — one on Mirko Crocop — and a couple of Ezekiel chokes.
In fact, all of Alexey’s wins inside the Octagon have all been finishes, four via tapout.
As for Fabricio his grappling resume speaks for itself, but if he can force Alexey to say uncle come fight night, it could be a big boost to help him get back into the the thick of things in the 265-pound division. For Alexey, becoming the first man to ever submit Werdum in an MMA fight will be perhaps the greatest accomplishment in his lengthy MMA career.