Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was back at it again, as the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization invaded Moscow, Russia for the first time ever to stage UFC Fight Night 136, which aired on UFC Fight Pass last Saturday (Sept. 15, 2018). In the main event of the evening, Aleksei Oleinik picked up a huge win by submitting Mark Hunt in the very first round of their headlining bout.
In the co-headlining affair, Jan Blachowicz defeated Nikita Krylov, also via submission, in the second stanza (recap).
Winner: Aleksei Oleinik
Who He Should Fight Next: Alistair Overeem
I know Alistair is coming off two straight losses, while Aleksei is on a two-fight win streak, but these days in UFC matchmaking that doesn’t seem to matter much. Ranked No. 6 in the land of big men, “The Reem” is in desperate need of a win to get him back into the thick of things.
Aleksei is currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the top 10, but that should change after tapping “Super Samoan.” It’s another clash of styles, as Alistair is all about the striking while no big man wants to see “The Boa Constrictor” on the floor. Aleksei deserves to face another top name, one who is ranked higher than Hunt, and one that can help him get to the next level. Overeem fits the bill and is the only available fighter at the moment.
Winner: Jan Blachowicz
Who He Should Fight Next: Oezdemir vs Smith Winner
Jan has been on a tear since losing to Alexander Gustafsson, winning four in a row in just a little under a year’s time. His run has been good enough to up him all the way to No. 4 on the official UFC rankings, which means bigger and better fights. He’s not going to be facing anyone ranked lower than him at the moment, so I’d like to see him hold off to face the winner of the upcoming 205-pound collision between heavy hitters Volkan Oezdemir and Anthony Smith, which is slated to go down on October 27 at UFC Fight Night 138 in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. With Daniel Cormier planning to retire in around six months, the landscape is going to change and a new king will be crowned. And when that happens, Blachowicz can set himself up nicely to get into a title eliminator match against either of these two men.
Winner: Shamil Abdurakhimov
Who He Should Face Next: Marcin Tybura
Shamil picked up his second straight win, fourth of his last five, by outscoring Andrei Arlovski in big man action. With confidence in his back pocket, Shamil is ready to start taking on tougher contenders moving forward. Tybura fits the bill, as he is now a top 10 fighter and coming off a big win over Stefan Struve. The rest of the division is either ranked too far above him or booked. Marcin’s dance card is currently empty, so this match makes sense. Book it.
Winner: Alexey Kunchenko
Who He Should Fight Next: Curtis Millender
I love this fight for many reasons. Both men like to stand and bang, which would be very appealing to the eye, and both have a win over Thiago Alves.
Curtis is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Max Griffin, so he could be ready for a return at the end of the year. I’d like to see this fight on the undercard of UFC 232 on Dec. 29. Alexey is a former world champion, hasn’t tasted defeat (19-0. 1-0) and shouldn’t be babied in his Octagon career. He has the chops to start taking on ranked opponents and Curtis is a good next step. Millender, meanwhile, just got a taste of the top 15, and is currently riding a two-fight win streak. A victory over Alexey would give him a huge bump in his career, while Kunchenko can up his stock by taking out a ranked foe on a big pay-per-view (PPV) event.
There you have it.
For complete UFC Fight Night 136 “Hunt vs. Oleinik” results and play-by-play, click HERE!