Quick Picks: Breaking down UFC Fight Night Moscow
Quick Picks is back, and we’re talking about Fight Night Moscow!
UFC 228 was a solid night for me and my Quick Picks, as I went 4-1 on the main card, with the lone loss coming when Niko Price was crushed. I mean, I’ll take 4-1 every time if possible, so I’m happy heading into this Fight Night 136 card. This upcoming card is a tough one to break down, but I’ll do my best like I always do to avoid public embarrassment and limit the namecalling associated with Quick Picks. Let’s get started with a recap from the last event.
Check out the last episode of Quick Picks here.
Last Event Record – 4-1 UFC 228
Total Record – 39-24
Alexey Kunchenko vs. Thiago Alves
Alexsey Kunchenko (18-0) is making his UFC debut here, and it’s a debut not to be missed. This is a fighter who is seen as a can’t miss prospect. I don’t even see him as a prospect. He’s a guy who can compete in the upper echelon of the Welterweight division, right now. He’s an absolute killer on his feet. His hands, knees, and kicks are super sharp and accurate. Watching his fights prior to writing this has me super amped to see his debut. It’ll mark a rise in competition, but he’s ready.
Thiago Alves (22-12) has dropped three of his last four fights heading into this clash, and it’s a fight he’s going to have to be very sharp to win. He will likely be willing to stand with Kunchenko, which is a mistake. Alves is durable and very smart. He’s been in the game for a long time and knows it inside and out. He’s going to have to be at the top of his game here to avoid being knocked out.
I like Alves, always have. That said, this is going to be a bad night for him. He’s going to get swarmed and hurt by Alexey in this fight. I expect a heck of a debut and a first-round knockout victory from Alexey.
Shamil Abdurakhimov vs. Andrei Arlovski
Shamil Abdurakhimov (18-4) is 3-2 in his UFC career but seems to be more on the upswing than Andrei at this point. His back to back wins over Anthony Hamilton and Walt Harris are impressive, and he went into the fourth round with Derrick Lewis in a losing effort. In his last fight, he stopped Chase Sherman in the first round. I think he has an advantage in speed against Arlovski.
Andrei Arlovski (27-16) is an experienced veteran, making his 27th walk to the Octagon for the UFC. He’d lost five a row, but rebound to win two straight before being bested in his last outing by Tai Tuivasa. Arlovski has always been a good striker, and he has wrestling and submission skills but seems removed from using them. He’ll stand and trade. He has a puncher’s chance, but sadly, a puncher’s chin to go with it.
I like Andrei, and I think he’s very capable of winning this fight. That said, I expect him to be at a speed deficit and he might have trouble getting his punches off as he’s shown in recent fights. Those two things, stack the fight in the favor of Shamil, who I feel will win either by late round stoppage of Unanimous Decision.
Jan Błachowicz vs. Nikita Krylov
Jan Blachowicz (22-7) is on a three-fight winning streak heading into this clash, including in his last outing when he beat Jimi Manuwa. He seems to have turned a corner in his fighting career and looks to earn a big win this Saturday in Russia. You know that Jan will be in shape, he always is.
Nikita Krylov (25-5) is 6-3 in the UFC but is making his return to the organization after a 22-month absence. He’s fought his way back to the UFC and looks to make a splash with a big victory over Jan Blachowicz. Nikita’s been fighting for Fight Nights Global where he’s gone 4-0 since leaving the UFC. All those wins were won via stoppage. He’s good standing and on the ground and has excellent knees and heavy hands.
I love this fight, and it’s a coin-toss in a lot of ways. I think Nikita will be happy to be back in the UFC, and I expect him to try and come out and get the early win in front of what will surely be an enthusiastic crowd for him. He’s from Ukraine and has made a living fighting in Russia. I like Nikita to win this fight with a second-round submission, likely a guillotine choke.
Mark Hunt vs. Alexey Oleinik
Mark Hunt (13-12) has walk-off knockouts that will be featured highlights long after he quits fighting. He’s a fan favorite and you can throw out his record, it’s meaningless. Mark is going to follow you around the cage and throw grenades at you with the hope that one lands because one is all it takes. He hits like a truck and has a similar body-style as well.
Alexey Oleinik (56-11) is on the verge of fighting professionally for the 68th time. Let that sink in. The dude is an ironman. He has ridiculous old man strength and if he catches your neck, you will find yourself deep in slumber. His chokes are insane, in fact, he submitted Junior Albini with an Ezekial choke from the bottom. Insane. That said, it’s hard to snatch the neck of a man who doesn’t possess one.
I know this is likely going to be whether Mark Hunt can land something before he gets submitted. I’m going to go out on a limb and say he does. Mark Hunt by big bad walk-off knockout.