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43-year-old Aleksei Oleinik wants to fight ‘big names’ for ‘maybe 7-10 more years’

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73 fights deep into his MMA career, Alexey Oleinik says he still has a lot more years left in the tank.

UFC 246: Oleinik v Greene Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Aleksei Oleinik, who takes on Derrick Lewis in the main event of UFC Vegas 6 this weekend, says he plans on still fighting for “maybe 7-10 more years.”

The 43-year-old Oleinik (59-13-1) is a veteran of 73 fights and has fought in the UFC since 2014. “The Boa Constrictor” is 2-2 in his last four fights, most recently defeating Fabricio Werdum by decision in May.

Oleinik explained why he was happy to fight Lewis when he spoke to BJPenn.com. The Russian also explained why he doesn’t like to fight five rounds at heavyweight.

“Derrick Lewis is a big guy and has a big name,” Oleinik said. “He is very high in top rankings. He is a cool guy and it is a good fight for me,” he said. “I want cool names, that is my goal, I don’t need easy fights, easy opponents. I only ask for big names.

“I don’t like five rounds. Five rounds for heavyweights is very difficult. I hope it ends before five rounds. I hope I am ready to fight in the standup and ready for the ground. I’m ready for anything. I just want to win, no matter submission or something else. That is my goal, no matter how I win, whether it is submission, KO, decision, doesn’t matter.”

Oleinik fought his first three MMA fights all on the same night during a tournament in 1996. One of the oldest fighters on the UFC roster, Oleinik sees himself fighting into his early fifties but also admits he could retire sooner than that.

“Not too much longer, maybe 7-10 more years. Maybe one year, maybe five years no one knows. If I feel good, I am ready to fight. I’m sparring in the gym with young guys and big names from UFC, Bellator, I feel good,” he said. “If I’m worse than them, then yes I may retire. If I am not worse, maybe I am no better, but I’m not worse, so middle, so I’ll fight.”

UFC Vegas 6 takes place this Saturday, August 8th. Lewis vs Oleinik will headline the card.