A 43-year-old heavyweight is open to fighting into his 50s, a top-ranked light heavyweight is switching promotions, and a bantamweight is dropping down to 125-pounds for a shot at a title. Huh?
Finding the proper response to much of the news finding its way into our social media feeds is becoming a tougher task every day. Nothing is surprising anymore, and there’s always more to the story. Leaving us with one reply: “huh?”
Last week, 74-fight MMA veteran Aleksei Oleinik said he’s open to the possibility of fighting into his 50s, top-ranked light heavyweight Corey Anderson made a surprisingly quick move from the UFC to Bellator, and UFC bantamweight contender Cody Garbrandt jumped the line to get a shot at the promotion’s flyweight title.
The reason “huh?”, in its various forms, is such a quality reply is simple. The word is as versatile as a response gets, and while it may require some explanation, “huh?” is sometimes the only way to react to the news of today. Defined by Merriam-Webster as an interjection that’s “used to express surprise, disbelief, or confusion, or as an inquiry inviting affirmative reply”, “huh” or “huh?” can mean a lot of different things.
Despite some of the follies of evolution (see: COVID Casino), the development and growth of “huh” is something we should embrace. To be the change we want to see in the world, here are a few MMA stories last week that made us go “huh?”
Aleksei Oleinik has plenty of gas in the tank
At 43-years-old with 74 fights under his belt, UFC heavyweight Aleksei Oleinik isn’t worried about retiring anytime soon. In fact, the submission specialist could fight into his 50s. Huh.
“Not too much longer, maybe 7-10 more years. Maybe one year, maybe five years no one knows. If I feel good, I am ready to fight. I’m sparring in the gym with young guys and big names from UFC, Bellator, I feel good,” he said. “If I’m worse than them, then yes I may retire. If I am not worse, maybe I am no better, but I’m not worse, so middle, so I’ll fight.”
Whether Oleinik continues to fight for another decade remains to be seen, but hanging up the gloves doesn’t seem to be a major concern for the 20-plus year pro. It’s hard to blame him.
Oleinik, ranked tenth in the offical UFC heavyweight rankings, is 8-5 since debuting in the promotion in June of 2014. He’s lost consecutive fights once since then, and before being TKOd by fourth-ranked Derrick Lewis, Oleinik answered that two-fight losing streak with consecutive victories over Maurice Greene and Fabricio Werdum this year.
So, for now, it’s safe to say he’s “not worse” by a solid margin. Especially in the heavyweight division. Keep it going, Aleksei. We need your hilariously weird and fun fights for as long as possible.