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Walt Harris recently broke into the Top 15 and will have his first ranked opponent in Ukrainian-born Russian submission specialist Alexey Oleynik. The two heavyweights are scheduled to co-headline UFC on ESPN 4on July 20 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. As their collision draws near, learn about some relevant numbers below:
Age and overall experienceAt 36 with only 19 professional fights, Harris started rather late in professional mixed martial arts. These days, it’s common for fighters to make their debut in their early twenties, but Harris made his when he was already 28. On March 15, 2011, he knocked out Justin Thornton in only 16 seconds, sparking a knockout spree that would propel his name into the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s roster. However, “The Big Ticket” hasn’t been very consistent in his MMA journey, having also lost seven times as a pro. His official record stands at 12-7.
Oleynik recently celebrated his 42nd birthday, and would want nothing less than a victory at UFC on ESPN 4. He started his career in his native of Ukraine as far back as Nov. 10, 1996. That’s almost 15 years separating the opposing fighters’ respective pro debuts. That night, Oleynik won three times to top the Minamoto Cup heavyweight tournament.
That was the first of many titles for “The Boa Constrictor.” He also won the M-1 Middleweight Russia Cup, IAFC Pankration Russia Cup, Professional MMA Cup Heavyweight Tournament, ProFC 3 heavyweight grand prix and WCMMA heavyweight championship, to name a few. His overall record is 57-12.
Knockout rateThe heavyweight division is littered with heavy-handed scrappers, and Harris is definitely one of them. His fists had something to do with all 12 of his career victories. That’s a solid 100 percent knockout finishing rate for the American Top Team find. He has yet to starch a ranked opponent in the UFC though, and Oleynik would be his biggest prey yet if things go his way.
Oleynik isn’t too keen on knockouts, especially in comparison to Harris, but he can connect some solid punches as well. He has forced eight wins by KO or TKO, making for an 18 pecent knockout finishing rate. Oleynik has had one victim in the Octagon, and that’s Jared Rosholt.
Submission rateIn the heavyweight division and perhaps in all of MMA, one cannot talk about submissions without mentioning Oleynik. “The Boa Constrictor” has so far lived up to his moniker, with five submissions in the UFC and 45 overall. Of course, he also holds the record for the most wins by Ezekiel choke in MMA competition and is the only fighter in the UFC to have finished with that same choke twice (on Junior Albini and Viktor Pesta).
Other notable submission victories in Oleynik’s resume are over Mark Hunt, Mirko Filipovic and Jeff Monson. Those 45 submission wins translate to a 79 percent submission finishing rate. Meanwhile, Harris has remained faithful to the striking game and has yet to score a submission in MMA competition.