If you carry a nickname like ‘The Boa Constrictor’ it’s safe to say you’re probably very good at choking people out. For Oleksiy Oliynyk, who dazzled at UFC 224, that’s something of an understatement.
Oliynyk isn’t just good at submissions, he’s otherworldly. The Russian (of Ukrainian heritage), at 40, remains the only fighter in UFC history to earn a submission victory via Ezekiel choke. On Saturday at UFC 224, he became the only fighter in the UFC to have done it twice.
In that sense, he’s literally in a class all his own. And in a career spanning all the way back to 1997, he’s pulled the choke off over ten times. At UFC 224, the victim was Junior Albini — and despite being bloodied, Oliynyk came out on top, improving his record to 53–11–1. It also brings his focus back to MMA, after the Parkland School shooting earlier this year. Oliynyk’s daughter attended the school, though luckily was safe after the incident.
The submission wizard was awarded one of the Performance of the Night bonuses for his efforts. The other went to Lyoto Machida, who sent Vitor Belfort sailing into retirement with a front kick to the face, knocking the former champion out cold.
Both men will be $50,000 richer thanks to their bonus winning efforts. As will Kelvin Gastelum and Jacare Souza, who fought in a thrilling back-and-forth war in the night’s co-main event. Though both had chances to finish the fight went the distance, with the judges ultimately awarding Gastelum a split decision win.
JACARE IS RALLYING IN ROUND TWO! #UFC224 pic.twitter.com/BYhYvrKeUS
— UFC (@ufc) May 13, 2018