- Sportsbooks favor Aleksei Oleinik to end three-fight losing streak against Ilir Latifi on March 26th.
- Oleinik has opened as the slight -125 betting favorite and Latifi the +105 underdog.
- Latifi is coming off a split decision win over Tanner Boser in his most recent UFC outing.
Veteran Sergey Spivak has opened as the slight betting favorite to defeat Ilir Latifi in their three-round heavyweight featured bout on March 26th.
According to the best UFC sportsbooks, Spivak is the -125 chalk while Latifi is the +105 underdog in this UFC Columbus matchup:
UFC Fight Night Opening Odds:
Alexey Oleinik (-125)
Ilir Latifi (+105) https://t.co/eeQwI8vG4L
— FightOdds.io (@FightOdds_io) March 8, 2022
Both fighters are coming off canceled bouts. Olienik was slated to fight Greg Hardy at UFC 272 last January 22 but the bout was called off after Oleinik withdrew, Meanwhile, Latifi was due to face Alexander Romanov last February 19th but the latter pulled out of their bout due to undisclosed reasons.
Sergey Spivak Defeats Aleksei Oleinik via Unanimous Decision
— The League Winners MMA (@WinnersMMA) June 20, 2021
Oleinik last fought at UFC Vegas 29 on June 19, 2021, when he lost via unanimous decision to Sergey Spivak. The defeat was Oleinik’s third straight after losing via knockout to Derrick Lewis and Chris Daukaus in his previous two bouts. The Boa Constrictor is just 4-6 in his last 10 bouts and has not won a fight since taking a split decision against former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum at UFC 249 last May 9, 2020.
The 44-year old Ukrainian is a veteran who began fighting in 1997. Oleinik fought under M-1 Global, ProFC, IAFC, Bellator, KSW, and YAMMA Pit Fighting. A former WCMMA heavyweight champion, he joined the UFC in 2014 and has picked up notable wins against the likes of Mirko Filipovic, Travis Browne, Mark Hunt, and Werdum. Oleinik is 59-16 with 8 knockouts and 46 wins via submission.
This marks the first time in his last nine bouts where Oleinik has opened with the minus money sign next to his name. In his previous eight bouts, the Boa Constrictor was listed as the underdog of +100 to +280. He went 3-5 during that stretch, with upset wins over Wedrum (+280), Maurice Greene (+103), and Hunt (+100).
Ilir Latifi Takes Razor Close Split Decision Against Tanner Boser
— Overtime Heroics MMA (@OTHeroicsMMA) June 6, 2021
Latifi meanwhile is coming off a razor-close split decision win against Tanner Boser at UFC Vegas 28 last June 5, 2021. The victory snapped a three-fight losing skid for Latifi who dropped his last two light heavyweight bouts against Corey Anderson and Volkan Oezdemir and lost his heavyweight debut against Derrick Lewis.
The 38-year old Swedish Sledgehammer is a former amateur wrestler and ADCC submission wrestling winner. Latifi was the first-ever Superior Challenge light heavyweight champion in Sweden. He joined the UFC in 2013 and had a decent 7-3 start but is just 1-3 in his last four bouts. Latifi has an overall record of 15-8 with six knockouts and four submission wins.
This will be the fourth consecutive bout where Latifi has opened with plus-money odds. He was the +165 underdog against Oezdemir, the +210 bottom dog against Lewis, and hit the betting boards at +155 odds against Boser. He was also the +145 betting underdog when he upset Ovince Saint Preux at UFC on Fox 28 way back in 2018 so there’s no question that Latifi can win as the underdog.