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UFC 249 results: Aleksei Oleinik hands Fabricio Werdum split decision loss after two-year layoff

UFC 249 Oleinik v Werdum Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Aleksei Oleinik gave Fabricio Werdum a rude welcome back after the former heavyweight champion was out of action for more than two years.

The Russian showcased a powerful striking game to repeatedly get the better of Werdum on the feet to edge out a split decision after three rounds. Two judges ultimately gave Oleinik the win, with 29-28 scores in his favor with the third official handing the same score to Werdum.

Knowing that Brazilian had been out of action since March 2018, Oleinik immediately put the pressure on the former heavyweight champion. Oleinik continuously stalked Werdum across the cage before unloading a barrage of punches in succession.

Time and time again, Werdum got stuck against the fence playing defense with Oleinik just unloading on him without much fear of reprisal. The constant output helped Oleinik win the opening round, but he began slowing down during a grappling exchange with Werdum fishing for submissions.

Despite being put in a bad position on the ground, Oleinik was able to work his way back to the feet before opening up with another series of hammer-like punches in an attempt to put Werdum away.

With five minutes remaining, Werdum dragged Oleinik back to the ground again as he tried to show off his superior grappling. Werdum kept looking for submissions, making a transition from armbar to kimura, but he just couldn’t put Oleinik away.

In a 15-minute dogfight, Oleinik’s punishing offense on the feet obviously swayed the judges’ decision. The 42-year-old Russian earned his second win in a row. Meanwhile, Werdum has now dropped two straight with losses to Oleinik and Alexander Volkov in consecutive fights.

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