Oleksiy Oliynyk vs. Junior Albini Targeted for UFC 224: Report

Oleksiy Oliynyk (Aleksei Oleinik) UFC
Aleksei Oleinik Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Oleksiy Oliynyk will look to bounce back from an odd loss to Curtis Blaydes when he heads to Brazil later this year.

A pair of heavyweights looking to bounce back from recent losses are being targeted for UFC 224 in Rio. According to multiple reports, including MMA-Today’s Nolan King and Red Fury MMA, submission ace Oleksiy Oliynyk will meet Junior Albini at the event. Following those initial reports, Oliynyk confirmed that he had signed a fight contract and would appear in Brazil. He also noted that USADA arrived for an impromptu drug test the day after he inked the deal.

Oliynyk (52–11–1), who turned pro all the way back in 1997, is 4-2 in the UFC to date. Last time out, his night came to a halt early following a doctor’s stoppage against Curtis Blaydes at UFC 217. The sequence of events confused many at the time, as Blaydes had connected with an illegal blow. However, it was ruled that the illegal kick was not the cause of Oliynyk’s injuries, and Blaydes was awarded the win. Prior to that, the Ukrainian-Russian heavyweight had won two straight over Viktor Pesta and Travis Browne.

The dangerous submission fighter added on social media that he was looking to get back into the octagon sooner, but that the UFC had told him May was the earliest they could book him.

Brazil’s Junior Albini (14-3), meanwhile, suffered his first UFC loss at the hands of Andrei Arlovski at UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk, VA last year. He’s now 1-1 in the UFC, and will aim to get back on track in his native Brazil.

Albini is ranked 13 in the UFC’s heavyweight division, while Oliynyk currently sits at 11. UFC 224 takes place May 12, 2018 at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.