Heavyweight Bout: Mark Hunt (13-12-1) vs. Oleksiy Oliynyk (56-11-1)
Nolan Howell: Oliynyk isn’t quite the level of wrestler that should be able to trouble Hunt with a takedown to his specialty submissions, though it might be over if it does get to the ground. On the feet, we know the score is in Hunt’s favor even if Oliynyk does have a significant reach advantage. Oliynyk’s striking tends to be a little spammy and very loose, though it has some power that could trouble Hunt if it were to land. That said, Oliynyk needs to get inside to get to where he needs to in setting up a victory and Hunt should be able to exploit that early. Mark Hunt by first-round KO.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Jan Blachowicz (22-7) vs. Nikita Krylov (24-5)
Nolan: Krylov is an interesting return to the UFC and he still has room to grow his game, already being a fighter with finishing ability before even if his game was lacking to keep him in the UFC. Błachowicz is a tough out though and shouldn’t put himself in too much trouble against Krylov, pressuring him and pacing him out over three rounds. Jan Błachowicz by unanimous decision.
Heavyweight Bout: Andrei Arlovski (27-16) vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov (18-4)
Nolan: While Arlovski has perhaps dispelled some of the questions about his chin, he has also aged out to a level where he can’t really beat competent MMA strikers anymore on the feet. Abdurakhimov, despite the one year layoff, has proven to be at least that much at this stage. Shamil Abdurakhimov by unanimous decision.
Welterweight Bout: Alexey Kunchenko (18-0) vs. Thiago Alves (22-12)
Nolan: Kunchenko was one of the top Russian prospects in the sport and Alves is who he is at this stage, so this screams giving a fresh talent a big name to really establish him in front of a hometown crowd. It is great matchmaking. Alexey Kunchenko by first-round TKO.
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