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Aleksei Oleinik vs. Ilir Latifi added to UFC Columbus

Aleksei Oleinik
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The hunt for win No. 60 continues for Aleksei Oleinik.

MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin has confirmed with sources with knowledge of the matchup that Oleinik (59-16-1) will fight Ilir Latifi (15-8, 1 NC) in a heavyweight bout at UFC Columbus on March 26. The bout was first reported by BJPenn.com.

This is a welcome booking for both men who recently saw matchups fizzle, with Oleinik withdrawing from a bout against Greg Hardy scheduled for UFC 270 on Jan. 22, and Latifi losing a Feb. 19 booking when Alexander Romanov withdrew from the contest.

Oleinik has lost three straight fights in his quest to earn his 60th pro MMA victory. In his most recent outing, he dropped a unanimous decision to Serghei Spivac. That followed back-to-back TKO losses to Chris Daukaus and Derrick Lewis.

Latifi is 1-1 since moving up to the UFC’s heavyweight division. He won a split decision over Tanner Boser last June to rebound from a decision loss to Lewis in February 2020.

UFC Columbus takes places at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on March 26. A headliner is still to be announced.