UFC Fight Night St. Petersburg is sure to put on a show for everyone watching on ESPN+. The prelims start at 8:15am MT and the main card gets us started at 11:00am MT. The main event features heavyweight contenders in Alistair Overeem facing off against Aleksei Oleinik. The main card also features two of the top contenders trying to assert themselves in the flyweight division with Roxanne Modafferi taking on Antonina Shevchenko.
See The Scrap’s staff predictions for UFC St. Petersburg:
Krzysztof Jotko vs Alen Amedovski (Middleweight)
Connor: Jotko has been in the UFC since 2013 and has veteran experience in the octagon. Amedovski has a much shorter resume, but he has never seen a third round, finishing all 8 of his fights by knocking out his opponent, and quickly. If Jotko can make Amedovski go the distance he should have the advantage, but that is only if he can withstand the power for that long.
Krzysztof Jotko def. Alen Amedovski via unanimous decision.
Jordan: Three defeats in a row doesn’t look good for any fighter. Perhaps they aren’t good enough? Or perhaps they have come up against top level competition? Krzystof Jotko has lost to David Branch, Uriah Hall and Brad Taveres, whilst none of these guys are top tier middleweights, they are all talented fighters and Jotko has certainly not fell to lesser opposition. Wins of Brad Scott, Scott Ashkam and Thales Leites show Jotko belongs and he will be desperate to snap his losing streak. Never an easy fight in this game, his opponent Alen Amedovski enters his UFC debut undefeated with a perfect 8-0 record with 8 KO finishes. It all comes down to can Jotko survive the early onslaught and push the newcomer into uncharted territory. If he can he stands a solid chance.
Alen Amedovski def. Krzystof Jotko via TKO in round 1.
Roxanne Modafferi (#8) vs Antonina Shevchenko (#15) (Flyweight)
Connor: Shevchenko is a well-known name in the UFC by now. The older sister of the current flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, Antonina is also a dangerous fighter. She does not quite have the power or the speed of her younger sister, but Antonina is a rangy striker that has great Muay Thai fundamentals and excellent control in the clinch. Modafferi fought for the inaugural flyweight championship and hopes to regain championship consideration and opportunities.
Antonina Shevchenko def. Roxanne Modafferi via unanimous decision.
Jordan: Roxanne Moderferi “The Happy Warrior”, never has a nickname been so spot on. Always smiling, she almost seems out of place in such a brutal sport. That is until you see her fight, with brilliant BJJ and a massive heart she certainly belongs. Competing for what seems like forever she’s a true pioneer of women’s MMA. Antonia Shevchenko, sister of long-time title contender Valentina is still unbeaten and will aim to remain so against the veteran Moderferi. A true contender should get the win over Moderferi, who with all due respect is something of a gatekeeper at flyweight. If Shevchenko isn’t what she’s thought to be, she will get exposed in this fight.
Antonina Shevchenko def. Roxanne Modafferi via unanimous decision.
Ivan Shtyrkov vs Devin Clark (Light Heavyweight)
Connor: Clark has experience in the UFC with a 9-3 professional record, and a 3-3 record in the UFC. Shtyrkov is undefeated as a professional and makes his UFC debut. Shtyrkov will look to show elite level talent that he can compete at the highest level in all phases of MMA.
Ivan Shtyrkov def. Devin Clark via TKO in round 1.
Jordan: In what appears to be the theme of the night’s fights. Another undefeated native makes his octagon debut. Ivan Shtyrkov 15-0-1 has picked up wins over Fabio Maldonado and Thiago Silva in his past two fights, more than earning his call to the big show. His signing to the UFC caused a stir online as fans gawked at his impressive physique as he very much earns his Hulk nickname. Devin Clark the opponent, who coming off a KO loss will be keen to get back in the win column. Whilst a tough and dangerous fight, it is also a massive opportunity for Clark. Unable to make any real impact during his 6-fight UFC run, he now has opportunity to get a win over a prospect who many will be tuning in to see. A win here catapults him into the mind of fight fans and most likely into a bigger fight.
Ivan Shtyrkov def. Devin Clark via TKO in round 2.
Sergei Pavlovich vs Marcelo Golm (Heavyweight)
Connor: With both fighters coming off a loss, a win in this matchup is huge. Golm has had a rough start in the UFC as he is 1-2 in his 3 bouts, but as is always the case with heavyweight fighters, he has power to end the fight immediately. Pavlovich is 12-1 as a professional and will look to utilize a large reach advantage to come away with a victory. Pavlovich’s only professional loss came at the hands of Alistair Overeem in his UFC debut, and will be looking to bounce back with a win.
Sergei Pavlovich def. Marcelo Golm via TKO in round 1.
Jordan: Sergei Pavlovich is coming off his first professional loss to the event’s main attraction Alistair Overeem. As UFC debuts go, they really don’t get much tougher than that, there is no shame in taking that loss. He will however, be keen to get back to winning ways and show UFC fans exactly what he’s all about. The Brazilian Marcelo Golm has struggled to adjust to the jump to UFC, back-to-back defeats have followed a debut victory. Golm has never been stopped and will likely provide a long night’s work for Sergei Pavlovich, who really should get this done if he wants to remain relevant in the UFC heavyweight division, where a couple of highlight wins means you’re in the mix.
Sergei Pavlovich def. Marcelo Golm via TKO in round 3.
Islam Makhachev vs Arman Tsarukyan (Lightweight)
Connor: Makhachev is a Dagestani fighter, who trains at AKA in San Jose California. You know what you are going to get form this fighter, excellent grappling skills that just wear down a fighter and break their spirit over time. Tsarukyan is a young fighter on a 12-fight winning streak with a 12-1 professional record. He draws a tough opponent for his UFC debut, but this should be a great fight to burst into the UFC.
Islam Makhachev def. Arman Tsarukyan via unanimous decision.
Jordan: Islam Makhachev has been quietly making moves in the UFC lightweight division with a 5-1 UFC record, including wins over Gleison Tibau and Nik Lentz. Friend, teammate and countryman of current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev certainly has the right people around him to guide him towards UFC gold. Although with his friend sitting atop of the division, it’s unsurprising he’s taken a fight that moves him no closer to a shot. Newcomer Arman Tsarukyan is on a 12-fight win streak and will certainly face a baptism of fire for his UFC debut. The 22 year old Russian will have his hands full with Makhachev who has all the potential to be a contender at 155-pounds.
Islam Makhachev def. Arman Tsarukyan via submission in round 1.
Alistair Overeem (#7) vs Aleksei Oleinik (#9) (Heavyweight)
Connor: Overeem is credited for his resurgence to a switch in gyms, and will be looking to continue revitalizing his fight career. Overeem was on a recent slide in the UFC losing to top talent, but one of the most tenured, and talented fighters in the heavyweight division (44-17 professional record) will look to prove he is still one of the best in the sport. Oleinik is also one of the most tenured fighters in all of MMA (57-11-1) and has 45 victories by way of submission. It seems like you just do not want to be on the mat with this guy, whoever can control where the fight goes will have the advantage.
Aleksei Oleinik def. Alistair Overeem via submission in round 2.
Jordan: Overeem may be the longest reigning Heavyweight contender of all-time. A storied MMA career that has saw him compete 63 times and counting, Alistair Overeem is still right at the top of the UFC heavyweight division. A switch in styles has certainly been the key to this prolonged stint at the top, as the once great KO artist has adapted his game around his unreliable chin which has saw him on the receiving end of more knockouts than most in the sport. A reliance on wrestling, striking defensive and a tactical approach has paid dividends for this MMA legend, who got back to winning ways last time out smashing Sergei Pavlovich into the mat with nasty ground and pound.
The ground is probably a place to avoid when it comes to Alexey Oleinik, the Ukrainian heavyweight will grab the neck at any chance he gets, position doesn’t matter. If he’s on top he’ll snap on the RNC. If you’re on top he’ll grab an Ezekiel choke. A true submission specialist and a dangerous late replacement for the more one-dimensional striker Alexander Volkov who was originally slated to compete against Overeem. Although Overeem will be confident in his submission defense only ever previously being tapped by the great Fabricio Werdum in 2006.
A combined MMA record of 101-28-1 (1) it seems a miracle these two men haven’t already faced off. Two of the biggest and best records, two of the biggest and best fighters. A truly great main event for UFC St. Petersburg.
Alistair Overeem def. Aleksei Oleinik via KO in round 1.