This Saturday, the UFC will host an event in Russia for the first time in its 25-year history. In the main event, Mark Hunt (13-12-1 MMA, 8-6-1 UFC) takes on Oleksiy Oliynyk (56-11-1 MMA, 5-2 UFC).
Including MMA, kickboxing and boxing, the two veterans have a combined 140 combat sports bouts on their professional records (and a combined age of 85).
Let’s take a look at the recent results of the two men in Saturday’s main event:
Hunt suffered a third-round KO loss against Alistair Overeem in March of last year, before rebounding with a fourth-round TKO win over Derrick Lewis. He lost his last fight, via unanimous decision, in a three-round contest against Curtis Blaydes in February.
Hunt, headlining a UFC event for the seventh time of his career, is currently embroiled in an ongoing lawsuit against the UFC, Dana White and Brock Lesnar after the UFC fast-tracked Lesnar’s promotional return by exempting him from the usual USADA testing required for a returning athlete. Lesnar failed a drugs test after defeating Hunt at UFC 200 in July 2016.
Oliynyk defeated Travis Browne via second-round submission last July, before losing to Curtis Blaydes via second-round TKO in November. He returned to the win column with a first-round submission win over Júnior Albini in May, locking in a standing Ezekiel choke before pulling half-guard and securing the finish.
No one else has finished a fight via Ezekiel choke in UFC history, but Oliynyk has now done so twice in UFC competition. Over his entire professional MMA career, Oliynyk holds 11 submission victories via Ezekiel choke and 46 wins via submission in total.
Here’s a look at how these two fighters fared when competing against common opponents shared throughout their careers. On the left of the graphic, you’ll see how Hunt fared against any shared opponents and on the right, you’ll see Oliynyk’s results against the same men.
The two men share three common opponents; Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipović, Curtis Blaydes and Chris Tuchscherer.
Mark Hunt defeated ‘Cro Cop’ via split-decision back in December 2005, whilst Oliynyk defeated Filipović via a first-round submission in November 2013.
Hunt snapped a 6-fight losing streak with his second-round walk-off KO over Tuchscherer in February 2011- his first UFC victory. Oliynyk dropped a unanimous decision to Tuchscherer in April 2008 in a contest consisting of just one five-minute round.
Both men came up short in their aforementioned bouts against Curtis Blaydes, just three months apart.
The Dwyer Score
Each event, I calculate a ‘Dwyer Score’ for the card. It essentially gives a numeric value to the momentum of fighters competing at any one event. I do this by assigning a figure to each fighter’s current streak; a fighter on a five-fight winning streak contributes +5 to an event’s score, whilst a fighter on a two-fight losing streak contributes -2 to the score. Only UFC results are considered and a fighter coming off a no-contest, a draw, or a bout with another promotion has a streak of 0. When you tally up the scores for every fighter on a card, you get a total for the event- the ‘Dwyer Score.’ This score does not claim to predict or measure the quality or excitement of any one card, but it does give you an idea of the general momentum of fighters heading into a specific event. The graphic to the above-right displays some of the highest-scoring events of all time, to help give some context to this score.
UFC Fight Night 136: Mark Hunt vs. Oleksiy Oliynyk posts a solid score of +13.
This score ranks 13th out of 27 events in 2018 and 3rd out of 14 Fight Night events this year.
Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
As you can see, this score far exceeds the +3.4 average for Fight Night events in the last twelve months, as well as the +10.5 average for all events in that same time frame.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
The highest individual contributors to the score are Rustam Khabilov and Mairbek Taisumov (both +5), with Jan Błachowicz and Jordan Johnson (both +3) close behind.
The lowest individual scorer is Terrion Ware (-3), just ahead of his opponent on Saturday, Merab Dvalishvili (-2). Five fighters are making their promotional debuts on this card.
Enjoy the fights!