5 Defining Moments: Alexey Oleynik

By Guy Portman Apr 17, 2019
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Alexey Oleynik (57-11-1) is a Ukrainian born heavyweight combatant that competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. In his next appearance, Oleynik will face Alistair Overeem in the UFC Fight Night 149 headliner.

As the bout nears, here are five moments that have come to define the 41-year-old veteran’s career.

Tournament Triumph


On Nov. 10, 2007, Oleynik was a participant in a light heavyweight tournament run by Polish promotion KSW. Having dispatched his first two opponents via submission in under two minutes, Oleynik met Krzysztof Kulak in the final. The contest was nearing the three-minute mark when Oleynik forced Kulak to submit with a rarely-seen Ezekiel choke from top position in guard. In winning his third match of the night, “The Boa Constrictor” was crowned the KSW 8 tournament champion.

Grand Prix Glory


In October 2008, Oleynik was a participant in the ProFC 3 Heavyweight Grand Prix in Moscow, Russia. The talented grappler emerged victorious from his first two bouts of the night by submission, which qualified him for the tournament final. It was evident from the start that his Russian rival Telman Sherifov planned to engage on the feet. However, less than a minute after the bell had sounded Oleynik elicited the tap with a guillotine choke. He was a champion once again.

Toppling a Legend


Oleynik was riding an eight-fight unbeaten streak when he faced former kickboxing standout Mirko Filipovic at Legend Fight Show 2. It was widely assumed that “The Boa Constrictor” would struggle with the Croatian’s revered striking skills and effective takedown defense. In the early going “Cro-Cop” surprised Oleynik when he grabbed a hold of his neck and cranked on a standing guillotine choke. Oleynik responded by dropping down and forcing a double leg takedown. From there he transitioned to side control and secured a neck crank, which forced the Croatian to quit with just 18 seconds remaining in the first round.

Signature Submission


Oleynik was coming off a loss when he met Viktor Pesta at UFC Fight Night 103. The clash was nearly three minutes in when Oleynik found himself mounted, with his Czech foe seemingly poised to rain down strikes. However, the savvy veteran quickly wrapped his right arm around his adversary’s neck and slipped his left hand under his chin to set up his signature Ezekiel choke. Pesta tried to force “The Boa Constrictor” to relinquish the hold with punches but was forced to submit. This was the first time in the promotion’s history that a fight had been won that way.

Ezekiel Enigma


Oleynik was a month shy of turning 41 when he squared off against Brazilian Junior Albini at UFC 224. Having lost his last bout, some were of the opinion that the veteran was now on a downward trajectory. In the first frame, a bleeding Oleynik was on his back in half guard with his larger foe lying on top of him. The veteran wasted little time in securing his trademark choke, which forced Albini to tap just two minutes into the fight. With the 12th Ezekiel choke of his storied career, Oleynik claimed a Performance of the Night bonus.

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