Sunday MMA Quick Hits: Rigged Russian Fight? Plus Alvey Wins Heavyweight Debut

Sam Alvey UFC
Sam Alvey, UFC Vegas 59 weigh-in Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

Sam Alvey has something to smile about again, MMA fans weren’t smiling following the result of Aleksander Emelianenko’s latest fight, and Dustin Poirier makes his prediction for McGregor vs. Chandler. It’s your Sunday MMA Quick Hits!

Former UFC heavyweight Aleksei Oleinik put down by Oli Thompson right hand

Aleksei Okeinik is a lot of fun, as one of the most well-travelled veterans of heavyweight MMA today. His signature Ezekiel choke submission is one few fighters have ever hit; he pulled it off twice in the UFC alone. But after watching this brief encounter with journeyman and fellow UFC vet Oli Thompson, “The Boa Constrictor,” who calls Florida home, may want to call it a career.

Mark Coleman announces Celebrity Boxing match

Speaking of things we did not want to see: UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman has announced he’s signed on for a celebrity boxing match. No opponent has been named; the bout will take place in October, consisting of three two-minute rounds.

At least we know it’s not Jake Paul. Yes, beating elderly MMA stars is basically his blueprint, but Paul is otherwise occupied with Nate Diaz.

Coleman, for the record, is 58, and has had to overcome serious health issues over the years.

Poirier picks winner in McGregor vs. Chandler

Dustin “The Diamond” Porier has weighed in on who he sees winning when Conor McGregor throws down with Michael Chandler.

Having shared the cage with both men, Poirier is perhaps better suited than anyone to break down the fight. The former interim lightweight champ submitted Chandler in November, and is 2-1 in his career series with McGregor — though the second win came via injury TKO when McGregor broke his leg in the rubber match of their trilogy.

The world has waited nearly two years for “The Notorious” to make his return, which appears to be lined up for later this year. And should McGregor return to form, Poirier believes he can stop Chandler.

“I think that if Conor comes back anything like he was with his timing and rhythm, with the injury that he had and this long of a layoff, and we’re not getting any younger either — if he comes back similar to who he was before he left, I think he stops Michael Chandler,” Poirier recently predicted on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour (h/t MMA Fighting).

“If Conor is who he was before the injury and stuff, I think two rounds — I think the fight’s over in two rounds.”

The Ultimate Fighter 31, featuring McGregor and Chandler as coaches, kicks off on May 30.

Rigged? Latest Aleksander Emelianenko fight looks awfully fishy

Claims of “rigged” fights in MMA are almost always made by fans unhappy with the outcome of a given match-up. Actual bout fixing is incredibly rare, mainly because it’s a) extremely hard to pull off and b) not lucrative enough to risk jail time over.

Of course, things operate a little different in Russia, where things like law, order, and not invading your neighbor do not apply. And so we present (h/t Al Zullino) Emelienenko versus some Russian vlogger, who appears to have a TKO win, then backs off and lets the contest continue. Aleksander goes on to win by submission in a fight that should in no way be counted on his official record.

This is the same card as the Oleinik fight.

Ivan Emelianenko debuts

With Fedor retired and brother Aleksander clearly a living joke, the youngest Emelianenko brother, Ivan, made his pro debut this past week. Fighting on the same card as brother Aleksander, his finish at least looks legit, if sloppy. Judge for yourself.

Nothing is over!

Nothing is over! Nothing. You just don’t turn it off!

Seems like Alex Pereira will do whatever it takes to continue his rivalry with Israel Adesanya, despite moving up to 205lbs. Including siding with the rival to Israel Adesanya’s rugby team.

Sam Alvey returns to win column in heavyweight debut

Sam Alvey has a reason to smile again. The former UFC middleweight moved to heavyweight over the weekend, competing at a B2FS event that aired on “Smile’n” Sam was successful in that debut, finding the TKO finish in the third.

The victory over Cameron Graham was Alvey’s first since 2018. He finished his UFC run on an unheard of 0-8-1 run.

Li Kai Wen dazzles as part of Road to UFC 2

ONE Championship tournament winner Li Kai Wen pulled off this stunning elbow strike KO as part of Road to UFC 2 on Saturday. If you missed it, the tournament has returned, with quarterfinal action unfolding over the weekend in Shanghai. Catch up on UFC Fight Pass.

This was one of a number of explosive finishes across the four-episode opening round.


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