Submission specialists Oleynik and Werdum look set for UFC Moscow showdown
Alexey Oleynik and Fabricio Werdum, arguably the two most potent submissions experts on the UFC’s heavyweight roster, look set to do battle in the promotion’s first-ever Russian show planned for September in Moscow.
Russian MMA veteran Oleynik posted an image on his Instagram account late on Sunday, showing a UFC bout agreement document, though he obscured the name of his opponent.
READ MORE: Alexey Oleynik finishes opponent with signature move again
Last week Oleynik told TASS that he is in talks with the UFC about a fight with Werdum, “either in Moscow or San Paolo.”
Information about the talks was also confirmed by MMA reporter Ariel Helwani.
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Fabricio Werdum has been seriously discussed as a top fight for the UFC’s debut event in Moscow on Sept. 15, sources confirm. Not finalized at the moment. Oleinik told reporters he was interested in fighting Werdum next after his win at UFC 224.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 21, 2018
Oleynik indicated that he was keen to test his grappling skills against Brazil’s Werdum, speaking to reporters following his victory against Junior Albini earlier this month.
“People call him the best grappler in the heavyweight division,” Oleynik said of Werdum via MMA Junkie. “It is very interesting to test my skills against him.”
Oleynik’s win against Albini at UFC 224 was his second by way of the rare Ezekiel Choke submission in just seven bouts – and remarkably the 18th such victory of his career.
Werdum was last seen in a UFC octagon in March, when he was defeated by Oleynik’s fellow Russian, Alexander Volkov.
Volkov, meanwhile, appears comfortable to wait until the dust settles in the UFC heavyweight division before committing to a bout on home soil.
READ MORE: Russian heavyweight Volkov KOs UFC legend Fabricio Werdum
The heavyweight contender’s coach, Taras Kiyashko, confirmed to RT Sport on Monday that he wants to wait until a winner emerges in the heavyweight title bout between champion Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier in July before starting talks on his next move. “We are want to fight for the title next,” he added.
The UFC’s first-ever event in Russia will be held on September 15 at Moscow’s Olympiyskiy Stadium.