Aleksei Oleinik competed against Sweden’s Ilir Latifi in the heavyweight division to round off the preliminary event at UFC Vegas 61 on Saturday. Oleinik was going for his second consecutive victory.
Originally scheduled for March at UFC Columbus, the bout was called off the day before because of Latifi’s sickness. On Saturday, the two eventually engaged in a match.
The outcome was a highly controlled contest in which the Swedish athlete avoided Oleinik’s submissions and came out on top.
The heavyweight match got off to a relatively friendly start, with the participants shaking hands before engaging in combat.
Oleynik greeting Latifi like an old friend before a cage fight pic.twitter.com/OQ4IEhGrdS
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Latifi attempted to land his own right as Oleinik connected with his hands. The next move was a takedown by Latifi, which of course, placed Oleinik in his comfort zone.
Latifi’s arms were overhooked by Oleinik, who then forced the referee to think about standing them up.
Oleinik got a sizeable cut by the last second, presumably from an unintentional headbutt. Latifi did make contact with the body at the last minute. Even more amazingly, he avoided any submission attempts.
Oleinik is a jiu-jitsu specialist who excels at a ezekiel choke from the bottom.
Early in the second round, Latifi landed an uppercut as Olienik tried to bridge the gap for a takedown. Latifi was able to effectively retaliate after he shot wildly over the top. Then Latifi delivered a left hand, and Oleinik launched a low kick.
By dragging Latifi to the ground and striking her with looping punches and leg kicks, Oleinik applied pressure. Although ugly, it was probably helping him gain favour. Oleinik collapsed as Latifi attempted to take him down. However, Latifi’s second try was successful, which had more force behind it.
The Swede had 90 seconds to work as a result. Oleinik was forced to run as Latifi switched to side control and delivered some vicious elbows. At the conclusion of the round, Latifi briefly held the back before returning to side control.
Ilir Latifi ended up winning by unanimous decision.
Latifi said after the victory that the match was his last under his UFC contract. He added that at 40, he wasn’t sure of his future. Additionally, he claimed that he didn’t inform his coaches after developing a staph infection in his leg two days earlier and requested Mark Zuckerberg give him a bonus.
” I got to give this guy an amazing A-plus because he’s a legend in the sport, all organizations. When they gave me this fight, this oh, he’s old is all. Hey, old, not old.”
“He can be 70. He’s coming to fight and to finish. And I got him with some good shots today. He continued to go forward and it says a lot. But I knew it was a hard challenge.”
“To my family back home. My coach, Sal Sable, said you’re going to see so soon a title contender in heavyweight. But, you know, this was my last fight on my contract. You know, I turned 40 now, and I don’t know what happened after this, you know? Hey, I wanted to say special thanks for the UFC. Hey, it’s been an amazing run.”
“I was so prepared, you know. And I had to cancel last notice. And even this week, if if this see, my ankle is all swollen, I didn’t even tell my coaches.”
“But I’ve got a staph infection two days ago. And as you can see here, my leg is all swollen. And, you know, it’s it’s an amazing sport, but the margins are so small. You put in so, so much work and this thing has to happen the last the last day today, actually, when I woke up, my leg was swollen and I was like, I can’t cancel again.”
“So I had to fight like this with a fever and a staph infection. But that’s a part of being a fighter. And every fighter that steps in here is a is a beast, is an opponent. You know, all of us step in here deserve so much credit, not only the champs or the big stars, every guy that goes in here, because every time you fight, you put your house on the line.”
“So I want to say special thanks to the UFC Dana and all the guys and yeah, let’s see, you know, I want that bonus tonight.”