Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at Polish light heavyweight Michal Oleksiejczuk as he makes his UFC debut against American Khalil Rountree at UFC 219 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Michal “The Hummer” Oleksiejczuk
Hometown: Barki, Poland
Weight Class: Light Heavyweight
Camp: GKS Gornik Leczna MMA
Career Record: 12-2
Key Wins: None
Key Losses: None
A winner of nine fights in a row, Michal Oleksiejczuk enters the UFC on a tremendous run of form. The 22-year-old Polish fighter fought twice in 2017 winning both fights by knockout. He was supposed to debut at UFC 217 against Ion Cutelaba, but the bout was cancelled due to Cutelaba being flagged for a USADA violation.
- Solid left hand
- Throws punches in combination
- Good recovery speed
- Will continue to push forward
- Subpar striking defense
- Too willing to stand in the pocket and trade
- Undersized for the division
- Footwork needs improvement
- Poor competition prior to UFC
Offensive Striking: D+
Striking Defense: F
Knockout Power: D+
Offensive Wrestling: N/A
Takedown Defense: D-
Overall Grade: D-
Matchup against Khalil Rountree
In a matchup of light heavyweights, Khalil Rountree welcomes Michal Oleksiejczuk to the UFC. Even though Oleksiejczuk has more professional bouts, there is certainly a major difference in their level of competition. The Polish fighter has never fought anyone that would be considered UFC caliber; meanwhile Rountree holds a 2-2 record in the UFC and has been dangerous against quality competition. The biggest issue for the debutant is his striking defense. He’s very hittable on the feet and has been knocked back and knocked down in previous fights against poor competition. Rountree is an excellent athlete for the weight class and throws punches with real venom. He’s showed marked improvements in his last few fights and a sense of confidence that really makes him dangerous. This is a tough fight for Oleksiejczuk and it’s hard to see him lasting 15 minutes with Rountree. The American will press forward throughout the bout and will have Oleksiejczuk on the back foot. I expect Rountree to build in confidence with each passing minute of this fight and eventually drop his Polish opponent to earn the finish. At -290, Rountree is just outside my price (-260) on this fight. I much prefer waiting to see the knockout prop once it becomes available as I see likely stoppage.
Michal Oleksiejczuk is a young light heavyweight in a division that is in need of new blood. However, he’s undersized for this weight class and is very susceptible to getting hit clean by aggressive strikers. He’s going to struggle in the UFC being forced to face bigger, more powerful strikers. Like most fighters his age, I expect him to continue to improve, but I think he’s made the jump to the UFC too early in his career to be able to stick in the UFC.
Check out Michal Oleksiejczuk in some of his most recent fights:
Michal Oleksiejczuk vs. Charles Andrade
Michal Oleksiejczuk vs. Riccardo Nosigilia