LAS VEGAS – When Serghei Spivac reached the podium backstage, he was exhausted.
After the UFC on ESPN 25 co-main event, Spivac (13-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) walked away victorious. He defeated an idol of his, Aleksei Oleinik (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), and swept all three judges’ scorecards to earn a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
The win was Spivac’s third in a row, but perhaps the most special of the bunch considering who it came against. When Spivac started in mixed martial arts, Oleinik was already a well-established name.
“When I just started my career, when I just started to fight, I was watching Oleinik, actually – how he was fighting others and how he was winning,” Spivac said. “He fought Mirko Cro Cop, if you know.”
Despite the years of watching Oleinik, Spivac revealed the prepared game plan he entered the fight with quickly was thrown out. The striking exchanges proved to be more difficult than expected and he’ll have to watch the tape to see exactly why he lacked success.
“What I was planning, it didn’t go as I wanted,” Spivac said at a post-fight news conference Saturday. “I had to improvise. Everything was not as planned. I wanted to work from the mount. Either my strikes weren’t good or he was so good that he didn’t get the strikes that I was (throwing).”
UFC on ESPN 25 took place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card aired on ESPN2 and ESPN+.