Aleksey Oleinik was born in Kharkov, but for almost his entire career he was associated with Russia. The wrestler competed in Russian national competitions for many years, and in 2011 he was even included in the national team, holding a Ukrainian passport. The athlete tried to achieve an accelerated change of citizenship, but the authorities refused for a long time to consider the application of the star in a special order.
The situation changed after Oleinik put on a high-profile show before his second fight in the UFC. The Ukrainian suddenly appeared at the weigh-in… wearing a Vladimir Putin T-shirt.
Two months later, Alexei officially became a Russian.
“It was unbearable to wait and endure”
Oleinik received an invitation to the main promotion of the planet after the victory over the famous Croatian Mirko Filipovich, which occurred in November 2013. Alexey’s debut in the UFC was supposed to be in January, but due to injury, the schedule changed. to change As a result, the wrestler first appeared at the tournament only in the summer of 2014, having won a convincing victory over Anthony Hamilton by strangulation, which once again justifies his nickname – Boa constrictor.
The athlete’s second fight in the UFC was scheduled for October – American Jared Rosholt went to Oleinik’s rivals. At that time, Alexei had been representing Russia at the international level for almost three years, made Moscow his main residence and even married a Russian woman, but at the same time remained a citizen of Ukraine. The situation of this frankly annoying fighter:
– I began to actively ask to be granted citizenship. At first there were answers like “get it the usual way”, so three years passed. It was already unbearable to wait and endure, Oleinik was quoted as saying by Interfax.
“The Americans were in the ears”
Tired of bureaucratic delays, Alexey found a workaround for the problem. To expedite the process, he took advantage of the publicity that entitles him to speak in the UFC, and put together an unexpected political action as part of the promotion.
Oleinik arrived at the weigh-in before the fight wearing a T-shirt with the image of Vladimir Putin. Later, the athlete explained that he wanted to kill two birds with one stone in this way: both to support the President of the Russian Federation, expressing his opinion about what is happening in Ukraine along the way, and to arouse interest in the duel. with rosholt.
– I wanted to somehow show my position in life, I wanted to provoke the audience a little. To be honest, the Americans were in their ears here: one guy goes out to fight another guy, this is one thing, but when some kind of ideology is added, their country is against our country, this is already different, this it is more interesting, – quotes the fighter from KP.
“Serve for the good of Russia”
Of course, Oleinik’s gesture caused a sensation. Later, his shirt was discussed more than the fight itself, although it turned out to be exceptional. Alexey approached the fight more like an outsider, but managed to hold his own against a younger American. The Ukrainian defeated him in an unusual way for himself – not by strangulation, but by knockout.
At the same time, the athlete managed to solve his other problem. After the victory in the United States, the wrestler personally turned to Vladimir Putin and asked him to accept his citizenship application. Oleinik wrote that he sincerely supports the policy of the President of the Russian Federation and is ready to “serve for the good of Russia with his work”, and later also openly stated that he “does not support the events in Ukraine”.
The wrestler’s request was granted in two months, so even before the end of 2014, Oleinik was awarded the coveted red column. Since then, the Ukrainian athlete is officially Russian and has competed in international tournaments under a new flag. Later, however, Alex changed his place of residence again: a few years ago, he and his family moved to Florida, where he now lives.