Alistair Overeem

Now that Alistair Overeem has taken out Aleksei Oleinik, the heavyweight is calling for a bout with the man he was supposed to battle yesterday, Alexander Volkov.

Initially, Overeem – Volkov was set to headline UFC St. Petersburg, but then Volkov was forced to withdraw from the bout. Oleinik agreed to step in, and while he threatened Overeem in the opening moments of the fight, the “Reem” put away the feared grappler with a booming knee.

So what could be next for Overeem? After scoring his second, consecutive straight stoppage win? Well, following the victory, Overeem had this to say about his next bout (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“I’m still looking for that fight,” Overeem said. “I was very prepared to face Alexander Volkov. I was looking forward to that fight. That fight didn’t happen tonight, but hopefully the next fight will be Volkov.”

“The UFC will match you with whoever is interesting, and that’s based on rankings,” he said. “To me, Volkov is still ranked. I’m still looking for that. Let’s do that first, and then we figure out who comes after.”

Sounds like a plan right? Now, as this is being written, it’s not really clear yet why Volkov withdrew from the fight. The report from MMA Junkie notes that it was reported by an outlet that Volkov had been yanked from the bout due to a potential anti-doping violation. The UFC, however, has reportedly said that’s not the case.

So, provided Volkov can return to the Octagon in the not too distant future, having him fight Overeem makes a lot of sense. Overeem is currently ranked #7 and Volkov is #6. There’s also lots to like about this match-up from a stylistic perspective. Both are tall, dangerous strikers, and both men are former champs in other organizations.

Then, you also have the Overeem vs. top Russian heavyweights angle to run with. Prior to facing Oleinik, Overeem took out Sergei Pavlovich in November, one of the nation’s rising commodities at heavyweight (who took out Marcelo Golm yesterday). You would think that since Volkov had signed on to fight Overeem before, he would still be on board to do so again. Perhaps even more so now that Overeem has defeated another of his fellow countrymen.

So, we’ll see what happens here. But if the timing’s right, hopefully, Overeem – Volkov will happen in Q3 of 2019.

Volkov hasn’t fought since October, when he was KO’d by Derrick Lewis. The defeat snapped the 6’7 tall fighter’s six-fight winning streak.

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