UFC Vegas 18 Preview: Alexander Volkov – Alistair Overeem

Daniel Cunningham
Alexander Volkov, UFC
Alexander Volkov, UFC

In the main event of UFC Vegas 18, we will see a big heavyweight clash. Top six contenders go head-to-head as Alexander Volkov (32-8) takes on The Demolition Man, Alistair Overeem (47-18, 1 NC).

Overeem started his MMA career back in 1999. He’s fought all over the world and captured multiple world titles in his career. However, the UFC heavyweight title has always evaded Alistair Overeem. At 40 years old, Overeem is currently on his final run to the heavyweight title.

Overeem came over to the UFC back in 2011 as the Strikeforce heavyweight champion. He defeated Brock Lesnar and that set him up for a title fight. However, a positive drug test got him suspended and he lost that opportunity.

Overeem wouldn’t have his chance at the title until 2016 when he took on Stipe Miocic. The fight started well for Overeem who dropped Miocic, but ultimately he ended up getting knocked out in the first. He hasn’t been able to get back since, but he’s 4-1 in his last five and is riding momentum.

Alexander Volkov came over to the UFC back in 2017. He started out 3-0 and that included a win over former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum. Volkov was seconds away from a fourth straight win and a title shot, but was the victim of a last second knockout from Derrick Lewis.

Since that loss at UFC 229, Volkov has gone 2-1. He’s still one of the top contenders in the heavyweight division and if he’s able to beat Overeem tomorrow night, he’ll only be a win or two away from a UFC title shot.

UFC Vegas 18 Prediction

The main event tomorrow is going to be so fascinating to watch. While Overeem is a former world champion kick-boxer, I would actually give the distance striking advantage to Alexander Volkov in this matchup.

Volkov’s striking in his last fight at UFC 254 looked sensational. Meanwhile, Overeem’s striking in recent years has lost a step. Instead, Overeem has leaned a lot more on his grappling which really showed in his last win against Augusto Sakai.

If this fight is a striking match from range, I think Volkov is going to get the win. However, I’m expecting Overeem to use a lot of clinch work in this win. For Overeem to win, he’s got to mix it up throughout. Chain his striking together with takedown attempts and the clinch.

One big weapon Overeem can use at UFC Vegas 18 is his knees. Overeem has some of the best knees in the business from the clinch. I wouldn’t be shocked by either man winning, but I think the multi-dimensional attack from Overeem will get it done over five rounds.

Prediction: Alistair Overeem by Unanimous Decision