One door closes, another one opens.
A couple of days after Fabricio Werdum was notified of a potential United States Anti Doping (USADA) violation, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has apparently moved on from his proposed matchup against Alexey Oleynik. Pegged to take “Vai Cavalo’s” place is none other than Mark Hunt.
MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani has the scoop:
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Mark Hunt is in the works for the UFC’s debut event in Moscow, I’m told. UFC forced to move on after Fabricio Werdum was provisionally suspended by USADA this week. The heavyweight fight, which is scheduled to be the main event, is close to being finalized.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 24, 2018
Hunt was last seen coming up short on the judges scorecards against Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221 last February, which resulted in his second loss in last three outings. Bouncing back won’t be an easy feat as Alexey is as tough as they come.
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. The submission expert is 6-2 so far inside the Octagon.
While the matchup between Werdum and Oleynik promised to be a grappler’s delight, a fight against Hunt will be the complete opposite, as “Super Samoan” has shown that taking fights to the mat isn’t exactly his style.
That said, it could prove dangerous should Hunt find himself taken down. But before Alexey does that he has to get close to the hard-hitting striker, which could leave him open to one of Mark’s ever-famous walk-off knockouts.