UFC Fight Night 149 Betting Odds & Tips: Overeem vs Oleinik

UFC Fight Night 149 Betting Odds & Tips: Overeem vs Oleinik

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Saturday afternoon, the UFC will make its promotional debut in St. Petersburg, Russia. It’s only the UFC’s second appearance in Russia, and like last time, this event will also be headlined by a heavyweight bout between Aleksei Oleinik and one of the premier strikers in the division.

Last year at UFC Moscow, Oleinik took on Mark Hunt, submitting the K-1 Grand Prix winner in the first round with a rear-naked choke. This weekend, Oleinik will try to make it two for two against K-1 champions, as he takes on Alistair Overeem.

It’s a heavyweight showcase with some heavyweight bets available for fans of UFC betting, so let’s get to it.

Alistair Overeem vs. Aleksei Oleinik Betting Preview

As you might expect from a K-1 champion, Overeem is an elite kickboxer. Previously, Overeem preferred to use a traditional pressuring power puncher style but as he has gotten older, he’s shifted into a deft out-fighter, using his speed and timing to work consistently from distance.

As good of a striker as Overeem is, he’s even better in the clinch. He has excellent positioning and delivers some of the best inside knees in the sport. He's also a good wrestler and submission grappler and one of the best ground-and-pounders in the division when the occasion arises.

Oleinik is a rarity in the heavyweight division, a submission specialist. Aptly nicknamed “The Boa Constrictor,” Oleinik’s game revolves around his ability to take fights to the ground and lock up chokes, and 45 of his 57 total wins have been by submission and a whopping 37 of those have been by choke.

But the most insane stat that Oleinik carries is that he has won 11 fights by Ezekiel choke. The Ezekiel choke is a move designed for use in the Gi and Oleinik’s penchant locking the submission up without the hand grips from the Gi is demonstrative of his ridiculous squeeze.

Outside of his submissions, Oleinik is a good top position grappler, with decent wrestling but even better at scrambling his way into advantageous spots. And while he’s competent on the feet, he certainly wouldn’t be mistaken for a Muay Thai specialist.

Overeem-Oleinik Best Bets

This fight was originally scheduled to be Overeem vs. Alexander Volkov in a striking showcase, but when Volkov was forced out with health issues, Oleinik was pulled from a scheduled bout against Walt Harris next month, to headline this event.

For Oleinik, it’s a huge step up in competition but his stylist match up remains the same. For Overeem, the shift to Oleinik from Volkov is pretty drastic. Fortunately for Overeem, it’s one that his skills should fare well against.

Overeem has always been one of the most well-rounded, athletic and skilled heavyweights in MMA. His biggest issues have come from lacking the durability that many of his contemporaries have. But against Oleinik, that shouldn’t be a factor.

888Sport has Overeem as a -250 favorite with the comeback on Oleinik at +200, and those odds aren’t long enough. Like in all of his fights, Oleinik needs takedowns to win, but those will not come easy against Overeem.

And when Oleinik fails to secure takedowns, he will be forced into the clinch, where Overeem does his best work. Eventually, Oleinik will tire from eating shots at range and taking knees in the clinch, and as the fight wears on, expect Overeem to get the knockout, so -250 is still good value straight up or a worthy parlay inclusion.

Given what we know about this fight, there are also a couple of prop bets worth looking into. Overeem by KO/TKO is -160 with Karamba a likely outcome given the offense Overeem can bring to bear and the fact that this is a five round fight.

Also worth looking at for the safety conscious is the Oleinik by Submission prop at +400 at BetFair. If Oleinik is going to win this fight, it will almost certainly be with a sub in transition so putting down a hedge bet is not a bad idea.

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