UFC St. Petersburg is an early Saturday card bringing plenty of great Eastern European talent to the cage and Cageside Press has their picks ready.

Staff Writers
Jotko vs. Amedovski
Modafferi vs. Shevchenko
Pavlovich vs. Golm
Makhachev vs. Tsarukyan
Overeem vs. Oleinik
Jason Payne (63-19)
Drake Riggs (59-23)
Heath Harshman (58-24)
Paarth Pande (56-26)
Mike Straus (55-27)
Joe McDonagh (55-27)
Gabriel Gonzalez (53-29)
Mike McClory (32-18)
Dan Doherty (52-30)
Josh Evanoff (52-30)
Jay Anderson (51-31)
Shawn Bitter (51-31)
Eddie Law (47-29)
Jesse Gillette (45-31)
Alex Scaffidi (40-30)
Ryan Fortune (12-11)
Keith Shillan (11-12)
Davidson Baker (2-3)

The main event of UFC St. Petersburg is between longtime veterans Alistair Overeem and Aleksei Oleinik. Oleinik, who is 6-2 in the UFC, will be participating in his 70th professional fight today sporting an excellent record of 57-11-1 with 47 submissions. Overeem is one of the greatest heavyweights ever with DREAM, Strikeforce, and K-1 Kickboxing titles to his name. He is 9-6 in the Octagon. 13 of 18 writers picked Overeem.

Islam Makhachev welcomes Arman Tsarukyan to the UFC in the co-main event. Makhachev, a sambo world champion, has been dominant in his MMA career, going 16-1 and riding a four-fight win streak into today’s contest. Tsarukyan is 13-1 with wins over UFC vets Felipe Olivieri and Junior Assuncao in his last two appearances. Makhachev was picked unanimously.

Young heavyweights Sergey Pavlovich and Marcelo Golm square off on the main card. Pavlovich was 13-0 and a Fight Nights champion when he fell in a tough debut against Alistair Overeem. Golm started his career at 6-0 without exiting the first round, including his UFC debut. He’s lost two fights since then. All but two writers picked Pavlovich.

Longtime veteran Roxanne Modafferi takes on striking specialist Antonina Shevchenko. Modafferi has been a pro since 2003, accumulating a record of 22-15. She’s been on The Ultimate Fighter twice, and was a finalist the second time around. Shevchenko started her pro career in 2002, but focused on Muay Thai/Kickboxing from 2005 to 2017. Since returning to MMA, the sister of Valentina is 4-0. 14 of 18 writers sided with Shevchenko.

Opening up the main card will be Krzysztof Jotko and Alen Amedovski. Jotko had an excellent start to his career with a 19-1 record with six of those wins coming in the Octagon. However, he’s lost three straight since then. Amedovski is an 8-0 prospect out of Italy whose last two fights were in Bellator, including a 12-second KO. Cageside Press was split at nine picks apiece for this fight.

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