Sunday’s UFC Moscow event is in the books, and now that the dust has settled in Russia, it’s time to go to the scorecard to see who the big winners were at Olympic Stadium.
1 – Aleksei Oleinik
I’m 50 years old. That means watching 44-year-old Mark Hunt face off with 41-year-old Aleksei Oleinik was one of those fights where I hoped for a draw because I didn’t want to see any of my people lose. But it also meant that whoever won put another notch in the belt for us in the over-40 set, and that’s always a good thing. Personal biases notwithstanding, how can you not want to see Aleksei Oleinik fight? The guy is willing to stand and trade with anyone, and once he gets you to the mat, it’s usually lights out. So whether he’s winning or losing, Oleinik’s fights always produce excitement. And despite his age, would you dismiss him against anyone in the heavyweight top ten? If you do, “The Boa Constrictor” will make sure it’s at your own peril.
2 – Jan Blachowicz
Jan Blachowicz may want a part on the upcoming Netflix series, The Witcher, but if the call does come in for the diehard fan of the video game / book series, he might have to pass, considering that he has gone from a 2-4 start in the UFC to a 4-0 run that has him in the light heavyweight top five and closing in on a title shot. That’s some turnaround for the Poland native, who showed off his standup against Jimi Manuwa in March and his submission prowess against Nikita Krylov last Saturday. In other words, this is a dangerous man and one whose confidence seems to have caught up to his talent.