The Heavyweight division always has and always will be known for big knockouts but Fabricio Werdum v Aleksei Oleinik is a grappler’s idea of an interesting Heavyweight matchup. This comes after a lengthy suspension for Werdum due to a positive out of competition drug test that showed the presence of an anabolic steroid and it’s metabolite, Trenbolone and Epitrenbolon Respectively. That was only recently lifted and Oleinik was the first opponent on his lips when his time on the shelf was nearly over.
The last time Werdum was seen in the Octagon was back in March 2018 at UFC Fight Night 127 where he suffered a fourth-round knockout loss against another Russian, Alexander Volkov. Oleinik on the other hand has not stopped competing and has fought five times since Werdum last stepped into the cage. He’s gone 3-2 over that period with all of his wins coming by way of submission, the most recent of which was against Maurice Green and took him to an incredible total of 46 submission victories.
Werdum has been eligible to compete in the grappling world however and although a match with Gordon Ryan was on the table at one point, Ryan’s injury last year scrapped the arranged match shortly after it was announced. Coincidentally, Gordon Ryan did actually end up facing Aleksei Oleinik after a quick recovery from injury. Although, somewhat predictably, Ryan made short work of Oleinik and won the match at Quintet Ultra by Kneebar in just over a minute.
Realistically, there aren’t many Heavyweights on the planet that can keep up with Gordon Ryan in a No Gi match, so Oleinik should fare much better on the ground in the upcoming fight with Werdum. Out of the two, Werdum is the most likely to be happy to stay on the feet but there’s one thing for sure, Werdum v Oleinik will definitely bring us some elite Heavyweight grappling action.
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