Following an injury to Alexander Volkov, Alistair Overeem will now face Aleksei Oleinik in the main event of UFC St. Petersburg.
With only 17 days notice, the main event of the UFC’s second trip to Russia is getting a late change. The original main event of the ESPN+ card, UFC St. Petersburg was former heavyweight title challenger Alistair Overeem taking on former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov. However, due to an injury to Volkov, Overeem will get a new opponent in submission specialist Aleksei Oleinik.
The bout was first reported by ESPN. Oleinik was previously scheduled for a fight against Walt Harris at UFC Ottawa, however, he was pulled from that matchup in favor of this fight. Oleinik is currently riding a hot streak, the Russian submission ace has currently won four of his last five fights. He has notable wins over Mirko Cro Cop, Travis Browne, and Mark Hunt. The last of which was the main event of the first trip to Russia, where Oleinik won via first-round submission.
Alistair Overeem, on the other hand, has struggled as of late, having lost two of his last three fights. Losing via brutal knockout to both Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes. However, he did defeat the debuting Sergey Pavlovich via TKO in the first round his last time out. That bout was actually the co-main event of UFC Russia as well.
UFC St. Peterburg goes down April 20, live on ESPN+. The card also features the return of top lightweight Islam Makhachev, the debut of light heavyweight prospect Ivan Shtyrkov, and top-15 flyweights facing off as Roxanne Modaferri is set to face Antonina Shevchenko.