UFC 246 | Alexey Oleynik: ‘I don’t need to go to the ground’ against Maurice Greene

Alexey Oleynik, UFC rankings

Alexey Oleynik knows he will have a massive advantage on the ground when he takes on Maurice Green at UFC 246, but isn’t sure he will utilize it.

Oleynik is on a two-fight losing streak, having recently been TKO’d by Alistair Overeem and then knocked out in 12 seconds by Walt Harris, and knows this fight is crucial. Yet he may not even use his best tool which is his jiu-jitsu.

“Maybe, maybe not. We will see,” Oleynik said to BJPENN.com when asked if he will go for a takedown. “My game plan is not just takedowns I will try something else. I don’t need to go to the ground. It is not necessary, I think I can fight standing up and do well striking. Obviously, my ground game is good. On the ground, I am better but that doesn’t mean my striking is bad and people don’t know what I can do striking.”

Although Oleynik says he doesn’t need to take the fight to the ground, he is confident if it does go the mat he would be the first person to submit Greene as a professional.

“He has never been submitted before as a pro. But, a lot of guys like Travis Browne had never been submitted before I fought them. Mark Hunt had never been choked out until I did. Many other guys, I gave them their first submission loss,” he explained. “He is not perfect on the ground, so he isn’t dangerous on the ground. Greene is very tall and that is why he is dangerous on the standup. I’m not afraid of him in the standup.”

If this fight stays standing, Alexey Oleynik will need to close the distance as Maurice Greene has a two-inch reach advantage and is five inches taller. But, the Russian isn’t worried about the size difference and still plans on coming forward.

“I am not so tall but I am also not short. He is tall, but it is only one step for me to close the distance. He can punch me when I step forward but I will punch back,” he said. “I will also never step back, I always step forward, that is my technique and goal.”

With Oleynik set for his 72nd professional fight and being on a losing skid, he knows getting his hand raised is vital. He understands anyone can be cut at any time so he must win this fight if he wants to keep his UFC career going.

While Oleynik intends to keep fighting for the time being, he won’t commit to how much longer he will keep on competing in the UFC. He even says this could be his final fight.

“Each fight is very important to me. This is the best mixed martial arts in the world and each fight is very important to win. I have maybe six years, maybe six months, maybe this is it. Nobody knows only God knows and maybe Dana White.”

In the end, Alexey Oleynik is just focused on his fight and beating Maurice Greene on the main card of UFC 246.

Even though the card is headlined by Conor McGregor and is sure to attract a lot of viewers as a result, Oleynik isn’t concerned.

“Most important is my fight. Conor McGregor or any other fight doesn’t matter to me. Even if he is so famous and will bring eyes to the card, only my fight matters to me,” he concluded. “Most important is my fight and getting the win.”

Do you think Alexey Oleynik will beat Maurice Greene at UFC 246.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/14/2020.