Alexey Oleynik is in for a tough fight.
At UFC San Antonio, the Russian is set to take on Walt Harris in the co-main event. The 42-year-old is looking to get back into the win column after losing to Alistair Overeem back in April. Although he lost the fight, Oleynik says he was happy with his performance as he showed off his skills and at one point had his opponent hurt.
In San Antonio, he has to be careful of “The Big Ticket’s” power. But what will cause more problems, according to the Russian, is the fact that he used to train with the American and taught him how to defend submissions.
“Walt Harris is a very strong guy and has a very good left punch and left kick. Most of his wins are by knockout. A bigger problem is that I used to teach Walt Harris and I taught him how to defend the submission attempts of mine,” Oleynik said to BJPENN.com. “This makes it a lot tougher. I hope we make the fight interesting and then (can) be friends again after and possibly train together again.”
Although Harris has been trained to defend Alexey Oleynik’s submission attempts, “The Boa Constrictor” will still try to get the fight to the ground and showcase his jiu-jitsu skills.
“I will try (to submit him). You never know what your opponents will do, so maybe it goes to the ground and I can submit him. Maybe I knock him out, or maybe it goes the distance. You never know,” he said. “But, my game plan and his game plan are different, so it is who can utilize their game plan better. I have a very good game plan. Like usual, getting (the fight) down to the ground but also showing off my striking as I did against Overeem. Nobody knows how it will play out.
“I just focus on this fight and try winning it,” Oleynik added. “Each fight is very important for me, just get a win and improve my legacy.”
At 42-years-old, Oleynik is still one of the top UFC heavyweights. But, he is not chasing the UFC title. Rather, he just wants to fight and continue to show the world how good he is. Yet his time as a pro fighter may soon come to an end, as he says this fight could very well be his last.
“Nobody knows (when I will retire). But, this could be the last time I fight, maybe I fight a couple of more,” Oleynik concluded. “It just depends, no one really knows when I will end. But, my body feels good, I am just tired mentality sometimes.”
Who do you think will win the fight between Alexey Oleynik and Walt Harris?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/15/2019.