Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has emerged as one of the most important forms of martial arts needed to succeed in the sport of MMA and the UFC in particular. The Gracie family highly popularised their own variant of Jiu Jitsu and created BJJ. It is now the most dominant Brazilian martial art with people around the globe quickly realising its ever growing significance. In MMA there have been plenty of masterful BJJ wizards such as Royce Gracie, Demian Maia, Ronaldo Souza, Frank Mir, the Noguiera brothers, Fabricio Werdum, B.J. Penn, etc. And there are hardly more beautiful things to watch than two grappling wizards rolling in a MMA cage, transitioning from one position to another. This was particularly displayed in the second bout between Mir and “Big Nog”. It looks like the UFC now wants to put on a similar fight as they are planning to book a fight between “Vai Cavalo” and Aleksei Oliynyk as a headliner for UFC Moscow.
Werdum is a former UFC and Strikeforce heavyweight champion with a record of 23-8-1. He last fought and lost to Alexander Volkov at UFC Fight Night 127 via KO due to punches.
Werdum was seemingly cruising through the headlining bout against Volkov. He was even ahead in the scorecards at the end of the third round. However, the Russian soon turned the tables and knocked out the veteran.
On the other hand, the Ukranian-Russian has a MMA record of 56-11-1 and is coming off an impressive victory over Junio Albini via submission due to an ezekiel choke. He currently holds a UFC record of 5-2 and predominantly relies on BJJ.
Werdum had previously called out Oliynyk on Twitter after his victory at UFC 224.
Werdum is a 1st dan black-belt in BJJ, whereas Oliynyk is a 4th dan black-belt and is also a World Combat Sambo champion. They both have multiple submission wins in MMA, Werdum has 11, while Oiynyk has 44 victories via submission to his credit.
The news about the UFC booking a potential fight between the duo was first broken by MMA Fighting’s noted combat sports journalist, Ariel Helwani. He had reported that the fight is currently in works to headline the first ever UFC event in Russia, i.e. UFC Fight Night 136.
Below is the tweet by Helwani:
Aleksei Oleinik vs. Fabricio Werdum has been seriously discussed as a top fight for the UFC’s debut event in Moscow on Sept. 15, sources confirm. Not finalized at the moment. Oleinik told reporters he was interested in fighting Werdum next after his win at UFC 224.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) May 21, 2018