UFC on ESPN+7 is wrapped, and it’s time for Stock Watch. MMA Junkie takes a look at who’s up, who’s down, and who’s flat after a night of action in St. Petersburg.
We knew Aleksei Oleinik could catch anyone napping with a submission. We probably didn’t give Overeem enough credit for his ability to assess and neutralize the threat. Things didn’t look great for “The Reem” when a bolo seemed to send him into survival mode against the fence. But then he weathered the storm and nailed the Russian with a knee right out of his best days in K-1. For that, we say bravo.
Even with an impressive highlight reel, Pavlovich got no easy treatment with a debut fight against Overeem. A matchup against Junior Dos Santos training partner Marcelo Golm was just the thing he needed to remind us how terrifying he is in the first round. Let’s see if he keeps it up.
“The Happy Warrior” should also be known as “Most Durable Upset Warrior.” Just about every second Modaferri was on her feet against Antonina Shevchenko, she was getting tooled. But she took all of the punches and put Shevchenko on her back, where every grappling flaw was exposed. Modaferri not only cashed as a +270 underdog, she knocked off a big prospect. Every time you count her out, you do so at your own peril.
At 2-4, the Russian didn’t have much room for mistakes heading into his bout against Alex da Silva. And he nearly wound up knocking himself out – a la Jarred Brooks against Jose “Shorty” Torres – when he slammed Silva to the mat in the second. But when the Brazilian exposed his neck against the fence, Yakovlev made him tap with an unconventional guillotine he called an old wrestling move.
How many uppercuts does it take to stop a charging Russian? Three, give or take. Gadzhimurad Antigulov thought he’d shake Oleksiejczuk with an early blitz. Instead, he hit the canvas no less than three times as counters found his chin. Forty-four seconds later, Oleksiejczuk owns two straight first-round stoppages, a much better look after a one-year suspension for clomiphene.
Sidelined two years from a broken arm suffered in a fight against Kevin Lee, Mustafaev had good reason to aim high in his return. It wasn’t terribly surprising when he couldn’t find Rafael Fiziev’s chin with the low-percentage spinning back-kick. But he didn’t miss by much, so he tried again. All the elusiveness in the world couldn’t save Fiziev from the next shot, and Mustafaev calmy stopped his own fight after a few more follow-up shots. Pretty gangsteer, and also ironic that Fiziev, signed for his Matrix-like kick dodges, gets flattened by one his first time out.
- UFC St. Petersburg video: Watch the post-event press conference
- UFC on ESPN+ 7 pre-event facts: Islam Makhachev least-hit fighter in UFC history
- UFC St. Petersburg bonuses: Islam Makhachev's battle with Arman Tsarukyan takes Fight of the Night
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: MMA Junkie's Stock Watch: UFC on ESPN+ 7 edition