Mark Hunt will look to bounce back into the win column when he meets Alexey Oleynik in the main event of UFC Moscow on Sept. 15.
UFC officially announced the fight Thursday morning through its social feeds following an initial report from ESPN back in May. Fabricio Werdum was initially set to lock horns with the Russian Ezekiel choke specialist, but was pulled from the bout after failing a USADA drug test.
“The Super Samoan” fell victim to the takedowns of Curtis Blaydes in his last outing at UFC 221 in Australia. Despite the Perth crowd urging the American to strike with the decorated knockout artist, Blaydes spent the majority of the fight controlling the Kiwi from top position to take a unanimous decision win.
Hunt has gone 8-6-1 (with one no-contest) with the UFC since his signing in 2010. The Pride and K-1 legend has taken notable wins over former champion Frank Mir, Derrick Lewis and Roy Nelson throughout his tenure with the promotion.
Oleynik (56-11-1) scored a tenth ultra rare Ezekiel choke finish in his last outing against Brazilian heavyweight, Junior Albini — his second victory by the same method in the UFC. Although he clearly will have a disadvantage in the striking exchanges with Hunt, the 41-year-old Russian has taken down other striking standouts like Mirko Cro Cop in the past.
The Sept. 15 show, which takes place at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Moscow, marks the UFC’s first event on Russian soil.