Aleksei Oleinik Set To Face Vanderaa At UFC 273 After Latifi Withdraws

UFC veteran Aleksei Oleinik will face short-notice replacement Jared Vanderaa in a heavyweight matchup at UFC 273.

Vanderaa will fill in for the injured Ilir Latifi, who suffered an illness stemming from a pre-planned matchup against Oleinik at UFC Columbus. The UFC postponed the fight and rescheduled it for UFC 273, but Latifi will need more time to recover from his illness.

Oleinik is looking to get back in the win column following three straight losses in the Octagon. He most recently fought last June against Sergey Spivak, losing via a unanimous decision.

Oleinik was also supposed to face Greg Hardy earlier this year at UFC 270 before he withdrew on short notice. His last win came against former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in a split decision at UFC 249.

Vanderaa took to Twitter to announce his fill-in against Oleinik.

“Well this is happening,” Vanderaa tweeted.

Vanderaa will make a quick turnaround in between fights after losing a split decision to Andrei Arlovski at UFC 271. He has lost three of his four bouts, with his lone victory over that stretch coming against Justin Tafa last May.

Vanderaa earned a shot in the UFC after earning a first-round TKO win over Harry Hunsucker on Dana White‘s Contender Series in 2020. He would go on to lose his UFC debut against Spivak just months later.

UFC 273 will take place on April 9 in Jacksonville, FL with a featherweight title headliner between Alexander Volkanovski and The Korean Zombie.

What are your thoughts on the Aleksei Oleinik vs. Jared Vanderaa matchup?

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