top of page

Michal Oleksiejczuk's UFC Journey: From Promising Start to Middleweight Resurgence at UFC 302, this Saturday

Michal Oleksiejczuk
Black Belt Plus

Through his first 13 UFC bouts, Michal Oleksiejczuk has experienced what many young fighters encounter when entering the organization in their early twenties, spending seven years discerning his place within the competitive hierarchy.

Kicking off his UFC stint on the last but one day of 2017, the 29-year-old Polish contender saw his rise to prominence accelerate in 2019 after securing swift victories over Gian Villante and Gadzhimurad Antigulov.

These performances marked him as a burgeoning talent in the light heavyweight ranks. However, such promising starts often lead to accelerated challenges, exemplified by his subsequent matchup with veteran Ovince Saint Preux, who defeated Oleksiejczuk using a tactful ground game and a Von Preux choke submission.

A similar defeat followed, but after a couple more wins and a unanimous decision loss to Dustin Jacoby, Oleksiejczuk opted for a weight class change. Transitioning to the middleweight division seemed a natural fit, and he quickly made an impact with consecutive, decisive victories, replicating his initial light heavyweight success.

However, the middleweight path also mirrored his earlier experiences, with Oleksiejczuk alternating between wins and submission losses, including recent defeats to Caio Borralho and Michel Pereira before his upcoming bout at UFC 302 against Kevin Holland.

Reflecting on his middleweight challenges, Oleksiejczuk noted, "Borralho and Pereira are top fighters in my category. I made some mistakes, but I believe that I will one day become UFC champion."

His swift defeat to Pereira at UFC 299 was particularly harsh, ending in just 61 seconds—a reminder of the sport's unpredictability and the intensity of preparation contrasted with the potential for rapid disappointment.

Despite these setbacks, Oleksiejczuk remains resilient, stating, "I had a great training camp, and it's a pity I didn't show a good fight. But I don't give up and I still believe in myself. After a defeat, I always aim to win at all costs, and that will be evident on Saturday."

His upcoming match against Holland, who is returning to the middleweight after mixed results at welterweight, represents a significant opportunity. Oleksiejczuk expressed his excitement about fighting on the main card of a major event, appreciating Holland's striking abilities but dismissing the need to prepare for in-fight verbal tactics.

bottom of page