Earlier this week, it was reported that former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum would be taking on Alexey Oleynik in the main event of UFC Moscow, which will represent the UFC’s first trip to Russia and take place on September 15 at the Olympic Stadium.
Then, however, news broke that Werdum had been flagged by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for a potential anti-doping violation, forcing the promotion to move on without him.
And it looks like the UFC has done just that, as multiple reports have surfaced indicating that a bout between veteran Mark Hunt and Oleynik is now in the works to headline the event.
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Mark Hunt is in the works for the UFC’s debut event in Moscow, I’m told. UFC forced to move on after Fabricio Werdum was provisionally suspended by USADA this week. The heavyweight fight, which is scheduled to be the main event, is close to being finalized.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 24, 2018
This fight is finalized, sources say.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 25, 2018
The 44-year-old Hunt has hit some rough times as of late, going 1-2-1 in his last four bouts. During that stretch, he’s suffered losses to Brock Lesnar, which was later ruled a no-contest, Alistair Overeem, and Curtis Blaydes, with the victory coming over Derrick Lewis last June in New Zealand.
Oleynik, meanwhile, is coming off of an Ezekiel choke victory over Junior Albini at UFC 224 earlier this month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Prior to that, he had won two of his previous three fights.