MMA veteran Oleynik wore a Vladimir Putin to a UFC fight in 2014 and was banned from entering his birth country Ukraine the following year.
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UFC heavyweight Alexey Oleynik once wore a Vladimir Putin t-shirt to a weight event and was later banned from entering his hometown Ukraine.
Veteran MMA Oleynik will be competing in his 77th professional bout tonight when he faces Ilir Latifi at UFC Columbus. Oleynik, the first and only boxer to compete and win in four different decades, turned pro in 1996.
Oleynik was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, which at the time was part of the Soviet Union. The 44-year-old, naturalized Russian, was banned from entering his country of birth in 2015 after he wore a Vladimir Putin t-shirt before his second UFC fight.
UFC heavyweight has report ties to the fighting club Oplot, whose name translates to “Stronghold” in English. The pro-Russian group was founded in the birth city of Olenyik and opposes Ukraine’s Euromaidan movement.
UFC / russian.rt / Youtube)
After living in Ukraine for three decades, Oleynik was considered a “threat to national security” by Ukraine when he described being barred from entering the country as “absurd”.
“I only have one phrase about what happened, it’s absurd. But because of what happened, I also completely understand,” he said. MK in 2015. “Simply because I have expressed, am expressing and will continue to express my civic views.
“I tell you, these are all people who came to power illegally. Open any encyclopedia and see the language of democracy. It will have nothing to do with what is happening in Ukraine. , because it is not a decision of the people, but a forcible confiscation.
“The marginal group of western Ukraine replaces concepts, they try to impose their attitudes on others, but they can’t do it with people who value us. And a lot of them.
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“I’ve lived there for 30 years, I have a lot of fans in Ukraine, I’m respected there. Let them keep their borders safe. Anyone who wants to cross it, including me. If you know where and how to travel differently, you don’t need a passport or any other paperwork.”
Putin declared war on Ukraine last month after years of tension between the two countries. More than 3.5 million refugees have fled the country via the western border as the situation continues to worsen.
Russian fighters Shamil Abdurakhimov and Sergei Pavlovich were booed at UFC London when the heavyweights entered the octagon to fight. Pavlovich defeated Abdurakhimov in the first round as many fans continued to boo as the official decision was read.