UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Oleinik Staff Picks and Predictions

When it comes to the heavyweight division, many are already chomping at the bit to get to the trilogy title fight next weekend between DC and Miocic.

But, first, we get another wild heavyweight main event this weekend between “The Black Beast” Derrick Lewis and submission specalist Aleksei Oleinik.

This card is flying under the radar, but we have the Baseline MMA staff locked in with their picks for the upcoming event from The APEX in Las Vegas.

Derrick Lewis (23-7, 1 NC) vs. Aleksei Oleinik (53-13-1)

TJ Lobello: Either way, this fight ends early. But, I’ll lean towards Lewis landing the knock out blow early in the first. Lewis by 1st Round KO

Josh Thomas: Oleinik can outgrapple the greater portion of the UFC roster, but when you look at his most recent losses, they’re all on the feet. Lewis enters this fight on a two-fight winning streak and I think he holds on to that and makes it three. I give him the edge based on his power. Lewis by 1st Round TKO

Gabe Lewis: Let’s keep it simple: if it’s a slugfest, Lewis wins in the first. The longer the fights drags out, the more likely an Oleinik submission becomes. Oleinik is a veteran and is battle tested and Lewis is susceptible to takedowns, but I’ll bet on Lewis to get it done on Saturday. Lewis by 1st Round TKO

Cody Guinn: This fight has potential to be over quick or drag on for nearly the entire twenty-five minutes. Lewis must keep this fight standing or he’ll be in trouble in any round. With that said, Oleinik’s recent losses to power punchers lead me to side with Lewis by an early finish. Lewis by 1st Round TKO

Omari Akhmedov (20-4-1) vs. Chris Weidman (14-5)

TJ: Weidman is a former champion and needs a big win. I see him entering this fight motivated and earning a nice return win. Weidman by Decision

Josh: Weidman is in a tough spot as he’s been stopped in five of his last six bouts. Weidman is a black belt and very competent grappler will give him the edge against Akhmedov. The former champ is a big step up in competition for Omari. Weidman by Decision

Gabe: I truly think Weidman’s best days are behind him, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get the job done. Chris will look to get this on the ground and keep it there, but Akhmedov is on a five-fight winning streak and will look to make his name off of Chris’. Weidman experimented at light heavyweight, but the power of Dominick Reyes made him reconsider and Chris now returns to his comfort zone at 185, but regardless, Weidman has struggled losing five of his last six. Akhmedov by Decision

Cody: Weidman can’t afford another loss right now, but the UFC isn’t doing him any favors against a hard-hitting, physically strong opponent like Omari Akhmedov. Akhmedov can really put himself on the map with a win or finish of Chris, but Weidman needs this win more than any other fighter needs a win currently in the UFC. Weidman by Decision

Maki Pitolo (13-5) vs. Darren Stewart (11-5, 1 NC)

TJ: Another closely matched fight between two guys looking to break out of the pact at middleweight. I’m inclined to run with Maki in a close fight. Pitolo by Decision

Josh: Pitolo has one of the best names in the UFC and one of the best nicknames “Coconut Bombz.” I think he gets it done against Stewart as Maki is more refined and his counter striking will be his way to victory. Pitolo by 2nd Round TKO

Gabe: A toss-up fight between two talented strikers. I’ll award Stewart with the slight power advantage as he knocks out opponents at a 64% clip while Pitolo is at 54%. I’ll side with Stewart in a close one. Stewart by Decision

Cody: An underrated fight to make a run at Fight of the Night, Pitolo is sharp with solid boxing and some devastating ground and pound. Darren Stewart has fought some hard-nosed middleweights since joining the UFC in 2016. This fight will be close, but I’m giving a slight edge to Pitolo. Pitolo by Decision

Yana Kunitskaya (12-5, 1 NC) vs. Julija Stoliarenko (9-4-1)

TJ: Stoliarenko is jumping in on short notice against an underrated women’s bantamweight. I’m going with Kunitskaya all the way. Kunitskaya by Decision

Josh: Even coming off a loss, I still like Kunitskaya in this fight and in this division. Yana has good takedown defense and I truly believe she’ll keep this fight on the feet. I’m confident with her training background out of Jackson-Wink, she’ll have the advantage and earn the decision. Kunitskaya by Decision

Gabe: Coming off a 3rd round loss to Aspen Ladd last year, Kunitskaya is determined to get back in the win column against a submission specialist. Both fighters are well versed on the ground, but on the feet, I give the advantage to Kunitskaya has she has the better striking and can finish her as the fight prolongs. Kunitskaya by 3rd Round TKO

Cody: Yana has only loss to top tier 135ers and 145ers including Aspen Ladd, Cris Cyborg and split a series with Tonya Evinger in Invicta. With that said, Stoliarenko is no slouch as a former Invicta champion and has finished eight of her nine wins with an armbar. As long as Kunitskaya can avoid that, she should earn a nice win. Kunitskaya by Decision

Beneil Dariush (18-4-1) vs. Scott Holtzman (14-3)

TJ: Two up and coming lightweights who can put on a show to kick-off the main card. I’ll go with Dariush to earn a nice win. Dariush by Decision

Josh: This could be Fight of the Night to kick-off the main card. Based on pure experience, Dariush edges it out in my book. I also like Dariush on the ground as he is more proficient overall. Dariush by Decision

Gabe: This fight has decision written all over it, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be exciting! I’m leading towards Dariush to get the finish based off performances against the likes of Michael Johnson and James Vick. Dariush by 2nd Round Submission

Cody: Two tough fighters who aren’t scared to trade right inside the pocket. This fight may come down to who has the better chin or who can mix it up the best maybe sneaking in a takedown or using more angles and movement. Dariush just recently landed in the UFC’s top fifteen rankings, but I think Holtzman will find a way to win. Holtzman by 2nd Round TKO

Cody Quick Prelim Picks
Laureano Staropoli over Tim Means
Kevin Holland over Joaquin Buckley
Alex Munoz over Nasrat Haqparast
Wellingotn Turman over Andrew Sanchez
Gavin Tucker over Justin Jaynes
Youssef Zalal over Peter Barrett
Al Alqaisi over Irwin Rivera

Join us next week on the Baseline MMA Podcast to recap UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Oleinik and see how we did with our picks!