“Smile’n” Sam Alvey (33-17; 10-12-1 in the UFC) is back again and set to fight the always dangerous Michal “Hussar” Oleksiejczuk (16-5; 4-3-1 in the UFC).
Order UFC 281
Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira is tonight! Watch every UFC 281 fight here.
- Israel Adesanya vs. Alex Pereira
- Carla Esparza vs. Zhang Weili
- Dustin Poirier vs. Michael Chandler
While Sam Alvey has not won a fight since 2018 and is currently 0-7-1 over his last eight fights, his entertaining style and jovial personality allow him to stick around the organization. Having entertaining fights is seen by Michal Oleksiejczuk as well, as he has finished 11 of his 16 wins by TKO/KO.
With both Alvey and Oleksiejczuk having a desire to enter in the pocket and exchange heavy blows, the result should be one where the judges are not needed and the winner earning himself a performance of the night bonus!
Given Alvey’s skid, it comes to little surprise that Oleksiejczuk is a massive -750 favorite.
Sam Alvey has two aspects to his fight game that has the potential to give his opponents trouble. The first is his left hand. Standing southpaw, with decent size for the division – he stands 6’2’’ and is known to cut a significant amount of weight – allows him to find success when throwing the left hand; and once thrown, he does have power on the punch. The other main positive attribute is his experience. While much of his recent experience has been losses, Alvey has faced just about every style, and every type of fighter – from young prospect to tough veteran – the UFC has to offer, so the knowledge on what works and what doesn’t should be in Alvey’s favor. Lastly, this knowledge and experience allow Alvey to fight consistently over 15 minutes, so the probability that his opponent gasses before he does is in his favor as well.
Pulling positive attributes for a fighter that hasn’t won a fight in 4 years is far more difficult than identifying said fighter’s issues. Notably, Alvey has an issue whether a storm, particularly when his opponent understands how to get inside off an angle to inflict a powerful blow. Moreover, while Alvey has the technique to defend takedowns, a strong grappler can get him to the mat and throw up submission attempts. The grappling issue will not loom large in this bout, but the issue of slow movement – results in him being easily hit – and a depleting chin makes for a sizable issue and one that Alvey has not shown to mitigate of recent note.
Michal Oleksiejczuk is a pretty good comparison for how a younger Sam Alvey fought. His heavy left-hand out of the southpaw position with an affinity to pressure his opponent justifies this comparison, but I want to reiterate that this comparison is relative to current Oleksiejczuk to much younger Alvey. With that said, the comparison is indeed there, and the similarity of fight-style countered against Alvey being out of his prime should afford Oleksiejczuk well in this spot.
Beyond the one-to-one analysis, Oleksiejczuk does have other aspects to his fight game that are worth mentioning. The problem is that many of these aspects are negative contrary to positive, as a short straight left hand with power behind it is the only sizable value-added attribute I have seen.
One of the problems he faces is not knowing which division to fight in, as he is far more comfortable not cutting weight – light heavyweight division – but when fighting there, he is far too undersized relative to his competition. So, now dropping back down to the middleweight division, where, bluntly stated, he should fight, does loom questions in relation to his cardio and potential chin issue stemming from a weight cut. If either question results in reality, Oleksiejczuk’s main style of pressure forward and fighting in close range where he can land his powerful hands on his opponent may be neutralized. And, because his wrestling is solid at best, with little ground game once on the mat, he lacks the ability to successfully transition away from his main style to win a fight.
The only legitimate competition Alvey can bring to a proven UFC fighter is battling for the NMF – Nicest Mother F – belt, currently held by Stephen Thompson. While his niceness and slight potential of a left hand tempt me to sprinkle an amount on the massive underdog price of Alvey, I simply cannot do so.
Ultimately, I expect Oleksiejczuk to rock Alvey early with a damaging left hand given he has the power, speed, and youth advantage in this fight. And, once rocked, Oleksiejczuk has shown he can successfully finish off injured opponents. So, while the weight cut is a potential issue for Oleksiejczuk, with the main focus on impacting his cardio, I do not believe this is the fight where we see if the potential issue becomes reality, as he should have little issue putting Alvey away quite quickly.
Bet: Oleksiejczuk to win by TKO/KO (+150 odds at BetUS)