After avoiding Oleinik’s crafty submissions, Overeem unleashed a knee that set up a TKO finish at the 4:45 mark of the first round.
The heavyweight bout served as the co-headliner for UFC on ESPN+ 7, which took place at Yubileyniy Arena in St. Petersburg and streamed live on ESPN+.
“He’s a very strong dude,” Overeem said afterward. “He’s a veteran of the sport. He’s a friend. I didn’t like fighting him. But the experience of fighting in Russia was excellent. If it’s up to me, I will be back.”
For a few seconds, it looked as though Oleinik might send Overeem packing with a loss. It took all of a few seconds for him to pull guard and threaten with his signature ezekiel choke. But Overeem muscled out of it and nearly landed a head kick.
Oleinik wasn’t done and pursued Overeem, battering the body against the fence. The former Strikeforce, Dream and K-1 champ caught a hook that seemed to stun him. Yet he managed to stop a takedown attempt and fire back with knees.
That strategy would pay off later when he trapped Oleinik in the clinch. Angling his knee attacks, Overeem twice caught the Russian on the chin, sending him tumbling to the mat.
“He was putting his head forward and pushing me back,” Overeem said. “I managed to catch him on the chin. I felt weakness, and I finished him off with ground and pound.”
Overeem now has back-to-back wins in the octagon. He welcomed a fight with Alexander Volkov, though the ex-Bellator champ was ruled out due to a reported drug violation and could be sidelined for the near future.
After pulling off crafty submissions in his past two fights, Oleinik admitted he’d met his match.
“I think I did pretty well considering I only had 18 days of preparation,” he said. “I’m sorry for disappointing you today. I hope next time will be better.”
- Twitter reacts to Alistair Overeem's TKO of Aleksei Oleinik at UFC on ESPN+ 7
- UFC St. Petersburg video: Watch the post-event press conference
- UFC St. Petersburg results: Islam Makhachev wins solid battle with Arman Tsarukyan
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC St. Petersburg results: Alistair Overeem finishes Aleksei Oleinik in first round