Youth versus experience is a common storyline in mixed martial arts. And never has it been more evident than in the case of Aleksei Oleinik vs. Maurice Greene at UFC 246.
Entering the PPV event Saturday night in Las Vegas, Greene had a grand total of eleven professional fights to his name. His journey began in 2012, and took him to the UFC by way of The Ultimate Fighter 28.
In stark contract, Aleksei Oleinik boasted thirteen fights. That he had lost. And Fifty-seven wins, in a career that took off all the way back in 1996. At the time, Greene was all of ten years old.
And don’t forget Oleinik’s lone draw. In any case, Oleinik had survived the ravages of MMA long enough to have a signature move — the Ezekiel choke — and wins over the likes of Travis Browne, Mark Hunt and Mirko Cro-Cop.
On Saturday, experience prevailed — but it wasn’t an easy fight. An early leg kick by Greene sent Oleinik tumbling to the ground — but the younger man wisely decided to stay standing. Oleinik, back up, ducked under a head kick, then clinched and took the fight down off a throw. Greene tried for a kimura, but that allowed Oleinik to start his progression to side control. He worked for a choke or crank, slowly cinching his fingers together. Greene freed himself, and threw up a triangle. Oleinik survived, Greene threw up another triangle attempt, and escaped to his feet. ‘The Crochet Boss’ didn’t stay standing long however. Oleinik moved to mount this time. Oleinik then trapped Greene in a scarf-hold choke, but Greene would gut it out, throwing hammer fists from the bottom.
Whether Oleinik burned out his arms in the first frame was a question. Greene went on the attack early in the second, firing a front kick, side kick, punches, and staying mobile. Oleinik barely slipped under a high kick. Partially blocked another. Then took Greene to the ground. From there, things got interesting. Oleinik seemed to have an Ezekiel choke at one point, but let it go. Later in the round, an exhausted Oleinik managed to catch an arm and work for the arm-bar. While Greene was able to defend the belly-down attempt at first, using his knee in a rather slick defensive move, Oleinik let go, re-established the submission, and forced the tap!
If he grabs you, it’s over! 🐍
🇷🇺 @OleynikUFC with the submission in his 72nd(!) career fight! #UFC246
Get the E+ PPV ➡️ https://t.co/elacTGWGXe #UFC246 pic.twitter.com/wBtYHjAVXL
— UFC (@ufc) January 19, 2020
Oleinik has now managed to find the finish in his last 17 straight wins.
Official Result: Aleksei Oleinik def. Maurice Greene by submission (arm-bar), Round 2, 4:38