Overeem TKOs Oleinik in battle of veteran big finishers at UFC St. Petersburg
The pair of famed finishers boasted more than 100 career wins between them heading into the bout, but it was Dutchman Overeem who burnished his record by finishing Oleinik with 15 seconds remaining in the first round at Yubileyniy Palace.
The hard-hitting Dutchman had bided his time up until that point in what was a fast-paced fight that belied the pairs’ combined years.
Overeem was forced to withstand some big body punches from Oleinik, covering up against the cage and continuing to wear the Russian down with knees to the body and head.
And that was how ‘The Demolition Man’ made the breakthrough heading toward the end of the first frame, catching Oleinik with successive knees to the head before finishing him with big punches and elbows as the Russian lay stricken on the canvas.
Marc Goddard stepped in to call off the fight, ending a brief but entertaining denouement to the UFC’s second foray into Russia.
Oleinik had stepped into the fight to replace countryman Alexander Volkov, and while the 41-year-old went out swinging, the higher-ranked Overeem ultimately secured the 23rd knockout win of his career.
After his win, Overeem said he would still be open to fighting the man originally intended to face him on Saturday - Volkov.
Elsewhere on the card, rising Russian lightweight star Islam Makhachev picked up a decision win in the co-main event against Armen Tsarukyan, although he was made to work a lot harder than many people expected.Also on rt.com 'Top 15... I'm ready!': Islam Makhachev wants top opposition after tricky test at UFC St Petersburg