Mirko ‘CroCop’ Filipovic has a new opponent for his fight at Legends 2, which takes place November 8 in the Russian capital city of Moscow.
He had been due to rematch Aleksandr Emelianenko in a rerun of their meeting under the PRIDE FC banner. That fight ended in a KO win for Filipovic but Emelianenko Jr. was early in his career at that point.
The rematch was scratched last week when Emelianenko was caught up in yet another scandal resulting from a drunken incident in his native Russia. Media footage of his arrest following an assault allegation showed that he was in poor physical condition and hardly ready to fight on November 8.
Alexey Oleinik fighter will replace him, says promoter Ruslan Suleymanov. Oleinik is a Bellator and KSW veteran with a 47-9 record. He is known as ‘The Boa Constrictor’ and has 38 submissions wins to his name.
“This is one of the top Russian heavyweights in MMA. Oleynik won many times over the last few months. With Alexei we can expect a very good fight,” said Sulejmanov.
"Of course, replacing Aleksander with Alexei will upset some people, while others will be please. People are different. Aleksander is an infamous athlete and person so he has fans and detractors in equal measure.
“Aleks is perhaps more powerful in striking techniques while Alexei, in my opinion, is more experienced on the ground. Regardless, [Oleinik] is one of the best heavyweight fighters now in our country.
Oleinik is currently in Moscow, where he has been doing some training with heavyweight kickboxer Badr Hari and the heavyweight UFC fighter Alistair Overeem.
The Ukrainian rides an eight-fight win streak into the bout, though of opposition of a lower caliber than that which Filipovic has faced. Oleinik has a 2006 loss to a light-heavyweight Chael Sonnen on his record and was also KO’d by Neil Grove in less than a minute on a 2010 Bellator card.