An impressive armbar that submitted Maurice Greene at UFC 246 made Aleksei Oleinik the first mixed martial artist to secure a submission in four different decades. A slight underdog, Oleinik largely controlled the wrestling heavy match-up and attempted multiple submissions while defending similar attempts from Greene. He finally emerged victorious by the end of the second round and secured a Performance of the Night bonus. With that submission, the Ukranian born Aleksei Oleinik became the first to accomplish this insane feat.
(If someone wants to tell McGregor about that typo, it would be much appreciated).
The career of Aleksei Oleinik is one of those things that makes MMA such an interesting sport. It really drives home how the sport truly is still in its infancy. When Aleksei Oleinik debuted, the UFC was only on their eighth installment. The promotion was still largely based around “super fights” that didn’t have a clock and were unweighted.
Aleksei Oleinik – otherwise known as “The Boa Constrictor” – made his professional MMA debut in 1996 at the Minamato Cup in Ukraine. Oleinik would secure three stoppages that day, two by submission and one via TKO.
His opening submission of the 2000’s was the first of three in one day on September 27, 2004. Oleinik secured the three submissions – none later than 2:05 in the first – and won the Middleweight Russia Cup held by Russian promotion M1 Global. The Ukranian born Russian fighter would continue to compete in M1 Global events throughout the 2000’s as well as other Eastern European promotions, including the KSW in Poland.
He then broke through with Bellator in August, 2010 but didn’t secure a submission with the promotion during his two two early decade bouts. His first submission of the 2010’s came at the Razdolie Cup in Russia, a rear-naked choke at 1:22 in the first. Oleinik then submitted Mirko Cro Crop via scarf-hold at Legend Fight Show: 2 in Moscow on November 8, 2013.
Aleksei Oleinik found himself with the UFC not long after that and debuted with the promotion on June 28, 2014. He secured a scarf-hold submission victory over Anthony Hamilton at 2:18 in the first. Oleinik would ultimately go 6-4 with the UFC over the course of the 10’s, with wins against Travis Browne, Mark Hunt and Jared Rosholt. In 2019, Oleinik suffered two losses. One was a TKO loss against Alistair Overeem while the other was a KO against Walt Harris.
Oleinik would then of course go on to secure the submission against Maurice Greene at UFC 246, marking his first submission of the 2020’s.
Oleinik will be 43 in June, so it is unknown just how much he truly has left in the tank. He’s certainly had a legendary career, however, and becoming the first MMA fighter to secure a submission in four different decades is one of those things we may not see again. If anyone else does it, there will only be a handful.
In 10-20 years, this will be looked upon as one of those insane sports relics of the past, like a pitcher throwing 7 innings in two games on the same day. Future fans will wonder how it even happened.