Maurice Greene is confident he will return to the win column at UFC 246 when he battles Alexey Oleynik.
Last time out, Greene suffered his first loss inside the Octagon when he was knocked out by Sergei Pavlovich. Although he lost, he says it was a learning experience and knows what he has to do differently now.
Against Oleynik, who has 45 submission wins, Greene knows he needs to keep this fight on the feet. But, if it goes to the mat, he isn’t too worried. He believes it’s hard to do jiu-jitsu when you are getting hit.
“Of course. I would be a fool to try and take him down and get the fight to the mat. I have good jiu-jitsu but he has 45 submission victories for a reason,” Greene told BJPENN.com. “If we keep it standing, I’d love that. But, I am not afraid to go to the ground by any means. Anybody can get it, this is the fight game. It is hard to do jiu-jitsu when you are getting punched and elbowed.”
Entering this fight, Oleynik has been knocked out in his past two fights. Green says that does not give him confidence. Instead, he knows every fight is different and he is preparing for the best Oleynik there is.
“We don’t know what he did to prepare for this vs. what he didn’t do or did do in those last two,” he explained. “You and I both know just because they are in the UFC that doesn’t mean they are dedicated and train for months. I’m viewing it as I’m getting the best Alexey Oleynik and if I get anything less than that, I’m happy.”
Although Greene says it doesn’t matter that Oleynik has been knocked out in back-to-back fights, he is confident he will make it three losses in a row for the Russian.
“I think he will put the pressure on like he does and try and bait me into something until he gets his ass knocked out,” he explained.
In the end, Greene knows he has what it takes to be a future champion at heavyweight. And, the rise to the top of the division starts here at UFC 246.
“We start the year out with a W and if I’m healthy, three, four, five times this year would be nice. If I’m able to do what I’m able to do, I think I can either have a number one contender or a title shot by end of this year, early next year,” Greene concluded.
Do you think Maurice Greene will be able to KO Alexey Oleynik at UFC 246?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/15/2020.