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Alexey
Oleynik
’s one-trick-pony act has brought him further than even
he could have expected.

The
Ultimate Fighting Championship
’s 10th-ranked heavyweight will
attempt to rebound from an Aug. 8 technical knockout loss to
Derrick
Lewis
when he meets Chris
Daukaus
in a featured attraction at
UFC Fight Night 185
this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Oleynik, 43, has delivered 46 of his 59 professional victories by
submission, including 14 with his patented Ezekiel choke. He has
suffered back-to-back defeats just twice in a remarkably consistent
career that now spans 74 fights.

As Oleynik makes final preparations for his confrontation with
Daukaus, a look at a few of the rivalries upon which he has built
his reputation:

Oleynik lost a split decision to Monson under the M-1 Global
banner in 2012 and had revenge on his mind when the two esteemed
grapplers met for a second time a little more than a year later.
The rematch was booked as the Oplot Challenge 67 main event on June
20, 2013 in Kharkov, Ukraine. Oleynik utilized an effective sprawl
to remain upright during their initial exchanges and proceeded to
bludgeon “The Snowman” with right uppercuts and sweeping hooks from
both hands. Late in the first round, Monson whiffed on a takedown,
retreated to his back and welcomed his counterpart into his guard.
Oleynik unleashed his ground-and-pound and drew blood from the
American’s nose and mouth while closing in on a potential finish.
Only the bell saved Monson, but Round 2 brought more misery.
Oleynik punished the two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission
Wrestling World Championships gold medalist with his jab, lured him
into a firefight and eventually drove him to the canvas with a
clubbing right hand. Monson offered little resistance, as “The Boa
Constrictor” assumed top position, progressed to his back and
cinched the fight-ending rear-naked choke 3:28 into the second
round. It was his first submission defeat in more than 14
years.

Overeem made the best of a difficult situation, as he survived some
tense moments against Oleynik—a short-notice substitution for
Alexander
Volkov
—before chopping down the Russian submission savant with
knees and punches in the first round of their UFC Fight Night 149
headliner on April 20, 2019. “The Demolition Man” drew the curtain
4:45 into Round 1 in front of a hushed crowd of 7,236 at the
Yubileyny Sports Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. A looping right
hand from Oleynik appeared to wobble the former Dream,
Strikeforce
and K-1 World Grand Prix champion, as “The Boa Constrictor” moved
in and engaged the Dutchman at close range. Overeem recovered and
eventually turned the tide with a series of knee strikes, becoming
the first man in nearly eight years to stop the
American Top Team
representative. The setback snapped Oleynik’s
two-fight winning streak and likely curtailed any possibility of a
run at the UFC heavyweight championship.

Werdum’s welcome was far from warm when he returned from a
two-year, United States Anti-Doping Agency-mandated layoff, as
Oleynik eked out a split decision over the former heavyweight
champion in a featured UFC 249 prelim on May 9, 2020 at VyStar
Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. All three judges
scored it 29-28: Derek Cleary for Werdum, Barry Luxenberg and
Chris Lee for
Oleynik. In his first appearance in 784 days, Werdum looked
tentative and out of sorts. Oleynik swarmed him from the start,
swamping the longtime Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with power
punches. Werdum answered with takedowns in the second and third
rounds but failed to capitalize on his moments of opportunity,
allowing “The Boa Constrictor” to escape to his feet and away from
danger. Oleynik outlanded the two-time ADCC Submission Wrestling
World Championships gold medalist by double-digit margins in all
three rounds, posting one of the more satisfying victories of his
career. Advertisement


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