Welcome to the UFC: Sergey Spivak

UFC Ottawa Sergey Spivak
Credit: WWFC Facebook

After a main event shuffle for an earlier card, Walt Harris was left without an opponent for UFC Ottawa, leading to the UFC signing undefeated Sergey Spivak.

The UFC is coming to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on May 4 in the Canadian Tire Centre arena. Heavyweight Walt Harris (12-7 MMA, 5-6 UFC) was originally supposed to fight Alexey Oleinik on this card. With that said, Oleinik was rebooked to fight Alistair Overeem at an earlier event. Now with Harris needing a new opponent, the UFC signed Sergey Spivak to take the fight.

Niigata, Japan
Polar Bear Team
5 Submissions (2 Armbars, Kimura, Rear-Naked Choke, Neck Crank)

How Will Sergey Spivak Fare in the UFC:

“Polar Bear” is a strong physical guy who will bully his way into the clinch. Primarily, Spivak is a fighter who wants to get the takedown. He’s shown the ability to get single legs but is really effective with his outside trip. For a bigger guy, Spivak moves well on the mat improving to better positions and can attack with a variety of submissions. Ground-and-pound would be his best weapon where the Ukraine native actively rains down on his foes.
On the feet, he shows flashes on the outside with head kicks but can never land flush enough to cause real damage. He thrives in the clinch where he can control the posture and unload with short shots including knees. Spivak has excelled with bullying his opponents around and beating them up in close quarters. As Spivak is at a higher-level now he will fight much bigger and stronger guys compared to the ones he fought on the regional scene (Walt Harris being a prime example). At range, he doesn’t have anything to offer as he lacks movement, checking leg kicks, and output. Spivak has the potential for sure but he’s going to have to have better striking.

  • Striking: D+
  • Kickboxing: C-
  • Clinch: B
  • Wrestling: C
  • Grappling: C+
  • Striking Defense: C+
  • Takedown Defense: A
  • Cardio: D
  • Biggest Strength: Ground-and-Pound
  • Biggest Weakness: Stand-up

How he Matches Up with Walt Harris:

Harris is athletic, powerful, and very dangerous but so inconsistent. In eleven total UFC fights, Harris has only been taken down four times. If Harris can stop the takedowns then he should beat Spivak pretty handily. Most of the time, the takedowns from Spivak are from the clinch but it will be hard to close in on Harris like he has on much lesser opponents. Harris is no world-beater in the slightest but I think he matches up with Spivak well.