Perhaps the best strangler in the heavyweight division is Alexey Oleynik. Oleynik has 70 professional MMA fights and multiple titles in combat sambo as well as other grappling tournaments. He is, unquestionably, the most experienced fighter in the heavyweight division, if not the entire UFC roster. Alexey Oleynik takes on Walt Harris in San Antonio on July 20th. We spoke with him ahead of that fight.
It’s often the thought of proving yourself to others, and more importantly, to yourself, that you are capable of something. Be it combat sports, archery, or simply in the gym, many people just love the challenge. Oleynik’s start in martial arts was driven by just that.
Alexey says, “I just wanted to prove to myself and others that I could be strong, to protect yourself and others. Then, it turned out that I do it very well, and became my profession.”
Very well indeed. Alexey Oleynik is the first and only man with and Ezekiel choke finish in the UFC. Oleynik has two, one on Júnior Albini and one on Viktor Pešta. With a record of 58-12-1, Oleynik has 47 submissions on his record, more than half of his total fights. And if you were wondering, 11 of them were Ezekiel chokes.
Oleynik brings a unique grappling style over to his MMA career. It’s not the traditional Brazilian jiu jitsu that we see Alexey Oleynik using.
“My style is Japanese jiu jitsu, but then I diversified it with the help of sambo.” It’s that unique grappling combination that has afforded him so much success.
With all the new Russian talent coming into the UFC, all eyes are on the country. Known to breed some of the best grapplers on the planet, Russia has produced Khabib Nurmagomedov, Magomed Magomedkerimov, Zabit Magomedsharipov and many more of the best fighters on the planet. Oleynik believes all countries bring something to the sport. He is happy Russia is finally getting a chance to contribute more to MMA.
“All nations bring something to MMA. Brazil brings jiu jitsu, USA brings strong conditioning and wrestling, Holland brings good striking. Russia brings something too.”