Weekend Warrior: To Russia with Glove

Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC [Getty Images]

While the window has closed on Mark Hunt as a serious contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s heavyweight division, the 44-year-old remains a dangerous knockout artist and a must-see attraction.

Hunt will collide with Alexey Oleynik in the UFC Fight Night 136 headliner on Saturday at Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Moscow. With both men north of 40, few expect their encounter to go the distance. Meanwhile, resurgent former KSW champion Jan Blachowicz toes the line against Ukrainian wrecking ball Nikita Krylov in the three-round co-headliner at 205 pounds.

Fighter Facts: Get to Know UFC Heavyweight Mark Hunt

A Pride Fighting Championships veteran and onetime K-1 World Grand Prix winner, Hunt finds himself on the rebound following a unanimous decision defeat to Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221 on Feb. 10. The popular Kiwi’s resume speaks for itself, with wins over Mirko Filipovic, Wanderlei Silva, Roy Nelson, Antonio Silva, Frank Mir and Derrick Lewis. Hunt has delivered 10 of his 13 career victories by knockout or technical knockout.

Oleynik, 41, last competed at UFC 224, where he submitted Junior Albini with one of his patented Ezekiel chokes on May 12. He has rattled off five wins in seven appearances since joining the UFC roster in 2014. Unlike Hunt, Oleynik prefers to do his business on the ground, as evidenced by the fact that 44 of his 56 pro victories — a whopping 79 percent — have come by submission. His list of victims includes Filipovic, Jeff Monson and Travis Browne.

More Fighter Facts: Get to Know Bellator MMA Champ Darrion Caldwell

UFC Fight Night “Hunt vs. Oleynik” — which streams to UFC Fight Pass in its entirety at 10:30 a.m. ET/7:30 a.m. PT — will also feature a heavyweight clash pitting Andrei Arlovski against Shamil Abdurakhimov and a welterweight affair matching Thiago Alves with undefeated Russian newcomer Alexey Kunchenko. Undercard bouts worth monitoring include Petr Yan vs. Jin Soo Son, Maribek Taisumov vs. Desmond Green and Jordan Johnson vs. Adam Yandiev.

A relatively light schedule on the regional scene sees the Legacy Fighting Alliance organization visiting the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Friday, as LFA 49 puts the talents of two undefeated welterweights on display in the main event: Sean Brady vs. Gilbert Urbina. AXS-TV will carry the show live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Former Cage Fury Fighting Championships titleholder Jonavin Webb will face off with Tanner Saraceno in the co-headliner at 170 pounds.

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