At 44, Aleksei Oleinik picked up his 60th career win and came one step closer to tying the promotional record for heavyweight submissions with a first-round tap of Jared Vanderaa at UFC 273.
In classic fashion, Oleinik survived some dicey moments where Vanderaa stung him with punches and even took his back, threatening to turn the tables on the submission master. But the Russian reversed position and secured a scarf-hold from side mount to leave Vanderaa tapping – and later vomiting, according to cageside observers – at the 3:39 mark of the opening frame.
Check out the finish below.
Some other stats produced by Oleinik with the win include:
- 7 submissions at heavyweight in the UFC, one shy of the record of 8 currently held by ex-champ Frank Mir.
- 47 career career submissions.
- The second of seven scarf-hold submissions in UFC history.
And according to Oleinik, he’s far from done. Despite a resume longer than the vast majority of most MMA competitors, he afterward told UFC commentator Joe Rogan he planned to compete “maybe five-, 10 more years.”
Vanderaa made things interesting early on with a tentative standup attack that reddened Oleinik’s face. When Oleinik grabbed a leg, hoping to pull his opponent on top of him, Vanderaa pivoted to stay on top and then advanced to back control. He never got close enough to the submission, nor did he right himself quickly enough before getting reversed. After taking the fight on less than two weeks’ notice after the withdrawal of Ilir Latifi, he found himself yet another victim of the grizzled Oleinik’s work and dropped his fourth UFC loss in five tries. Meanwhile, Oleinik snapped a three-fight skid.
Although their careers went in different directions, Vanderaa and Oleinik quickly went from foes to friends backstage, where UFC cameras filmed Oleinik holding a short seminar on his Ezekiel choke technique.