The UFC has finalized a heavyweight clash for their January pay-per-view. John Morgan from MMA Junkie was the first to report yesterday that the promotion has booked a clash between Greg Hardy (7-4, 1 NC) and Aleksei Oleinik (59-16-1).
The game is scheduled to take place at UFC 270 on January 22. As you can see by reading his record, Oleinik is going to participate in his 77th professional fight. The Russian’s first fight dates back to 1996.
For context, Greg Hardy was only eight years old when Oleinik made his professional MMA debut. He’s fought all over the world, but Oleinik made it to the UFC in 2014.
Oleinik had a very strong run with the UFC going 9-7 in his sixteen fights with the promotion. He’s been there with some of the best in the world and has won victories against Travis Browne, Mark Hunt and former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum.
The last time we saw Oleinik was in June when he lost a decision to Sergey Spivak in a UFC Fight Night. At 44 and having lost three in a row, this could be a do or die fight for Oleinik.
UFC War Prince
Greg Hardy has had a decent transition from a professional NFL player to a UFC fighter. After starting his professional MMA career with three first-round knockouts, the UFC brought him in and immediately put him in a main co-event.
However, Hardy ended up losing by throwing an illegal knee to his opponent. After that he won three consecutive fights, however, the third was ultimately judged without a competition due to Hardy’s use of an inhaler.
At the end of 2020, Hardy was on a two-game winning streak and faced Marcin Tybura. If Hardy had won, you probably would have seen his name in the UFC rankings. He started the fight with Tybura very well.
However, he eventually gassed and was arrested in the second round. Most recently, he was knocked out in the first round by Tai Tuivasa at UFC 264. This is the first time in Hardy’s MMA career where he has lost back-to-back fights.
These two men are leaning against a wall here and they need a victory. Knowing the strategies in UFC 270 will also be incredibly obvious. Hardy wants to stand up and trade while Oleinik tries to take him down. A fun style clash in January.