The UFC spans their horizons across Europe and find themselves in Saint Petersburg Russia. Aleksei Oleinik is a Russian Heavyweight who has headlined both UFC events in Russia. Because Aleksei has been on somewhat of a tear recently, does he have enough to defeat the legend that is Alistair Overeem this Saturday night?
Do we already know what Overeem has planned?
Let me think about this one. Overeem is a K-1 Kickboxing champion and on the other side, Oleinik is a Sambo grappling champion. It seems like a fairly logical assessment for Alistair to keep the fight standing.
As the old cliche goes, this is a classic striker vs grappler matchup. Overeem needs to keep to his strengths and look to light up Oleinik through his kickboxing. Unfortunately, Oleinik’s striking is pretty sub par in comparison to his grappling game. He plods forward, throws slow punches and his striking technique leaves a lot to be desired. Alistair truly is on another level in this aspect against Aleksei. If the Russian engages in a striking battle for too long, Overeem will absolutely pick him apart.
What is so special about Oleinik?
Out of Aleksei’s 57 wins in mixed martial arts, 45 have come by way of submission. He is a Jiu-Jitsu black belt and has won world championships in Russian Sambo. He is one slippery guy and holds many submission victories from seemingly impossible positions. I’ve seen him get taken down and submit opponents from the bottom after plummeting down to the mat through various chokes. This is down to Oleinik being a master of no-gi grappling, evidenced in his 2011 Grapplers Quest tournament victory.
Despite Aleksei’s stiff striking technique, with this being the heavyweight division, anything can happen! There is the possibility of Overeem overlooking the striking prowess of Oleinik. This could leave the Dutchman open to unforeseen strikes which could rock him. Overeem’s chin has faced many questions as of late.
I think Oleinik will have a tough time getting Overeem down to the ground. All fights start standing and it’s hard to see the Russian finding an opening against the kickboxing of Alistair. Crazier things have happened but we’re going for Overeem by knockout.