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Can Aleksei Oleinik reach the pinnacle at heavyweight

  • It's time that Aleksei Oleinik gets a true top level opponent.
  • Who's a worthy challenger for someone of Oleinik's resume.
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 13 May 2020, 08:15 IST

Aleksei Oleinik
Aleksei Oleinik

They say that size matters. Well, that's not always the case in physicality, but it does when it comes to the heart a person shows, and "The Boa Constrictor", Aleksei Oleinik has oodles of it. While no flashy headlines come from him, or video game-style knockouts; he just continues to go out and do his job.

The owner of a 73 fight career dating back to 1996, Oleinik has been through the wood chipper. And has put others through it as well. Twice in his impressive career, he's rolled off 11 wins in a row. He's a finisher. With 46 of his 59 wins coming via submission, hence his nickname. Yet due to his quiet unassuming nature doesn't get a spotlight flashed on him.

Is there a title shot in the fray for Oleinik?

Now on a very modest 2 fight win streak, and physically looking better than ever in his career, does he finally get put into any title conversations? He should. Maybe not choose one, two, or three. But he's there. He's proved in-cage that he has the talent to fight for the most treasured prize in combat sports. The heavyweight championship of the world.

Against one of the greatest big men in the history of the sport, Fabricio Werdum, Oleinik came in his lightest. And being he's not grown or shrunk, he uses his size as well as another small heavyweight in Daniel Cormier. Is he near that level? No. But the ability to use what God has given you to perfection is a massive key.

Yes, indeed, Fabricio is not ranked, but he's an icon. Either is his other recent win, Maurice Greene. In a bit of an ironic numbers game his 2 previous fights, both losses came at the hands of Walt Harris and Alistair Overeem; and those two fight this coming Saturday. So a re-match against the winner is possible. His other most recent loss came at the hands of Curtis Blaydes who sits for now ranked 3rd. So it would be smart for "Razor" to not jump back in against him right now.

Oleinik does want bigger names, and who could blame him. But for as good as he looked Saturday night, there were moments of sloppiness. And those against someone like Francis Ngannou, for example, could spell disaster for the Russian. But he's 42, with a lot of mileage on him. So a quick push might be what's needed for him.

If he wasn't locked into one last fight and then retirement, the solution could be Cormier. It would be interesting to see the outcome there. DC shoots for a double leg and gets him down, then Oleinik wraps him in an Ezekiel Choke.

This is a problem with many top-tiered heavyweights; Derrick Lewis is tough though. He's said he rather not fight during the pandemic, and has stated that quite clearly when given the chance. Junior Dos Santos might wind up being the pick by default, although he's coming off of a bad two fight losing streak. Even though he is looking more like a light heavyweight these days. Oleinik's dangerous and can ruin a lot of people's plans. It's time that more people lookout for that "Boa Constrictor" slithering up the rankings.


Published 13 May 2020, 08:15 IST
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