Next weekend’s UFC 273 pay-per-view lineup is set with the late addition of a heavyweight fight between Aleksei Oleinik and Jared Vanderaa.
Oleinik was supposed to fight Ilir Latifi at last weekend’s UFC Columbus card, but the fight was canceled after Latifi fell ill on fight day. The UFC was able to re-book the fight for UFC 273, but unfortunately, Latifi is still not healthy and unable to compete. With Latifi off of UFC 273, the promotion has called upon Vanderaa to step on short notice and take the fight against Oleinik. According to UFCStats.com, the Oleinik vs. Vanderaa fight will now take place on the main pay-per-view card, bringing the total number of fights on the PPV portion of the card to six. Typically, the UFC only puts five fights on a PPV main card, so it’s interesting a sixth fight was added to it.
Vanderaa (12-7) is 1-3 overall in the UFC and he is coming off of two straight losses, so this is likely a must-win fight to keep him on the UFC roster. Vanderaa has a win in the UFC over Justin Tafa but he has also lost to Andrei Arlovski, Alexandr Romanov, and Serghei Spivac, so he desperately needs to beat Oleinik here.
Oleinik (59-16-1) is the oldest fighter in the UFC at age 44. One of the most respected veterans in the sport, Oleinik has lost his last three fights, albeit against top-15 ranked fighters in Spivac, Chris Daukaus, and Derrick Lewis. Still, he can’t risk suffering a fourth-straight loss, as that would likely mean an end to his UFC career.
The full UFC 273 pay-per-view card, which takes place on April 9 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, consists of the following six bouts:
Main event: Alexander Volkanovski vs. The Korean Zombie – UFC featherweight title fight
Co-main event: Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan – UFC bantamweight title fight
Khamzat Chimaev vs. Gilbert Burns – welterweight fight
Mackenzie Dern vs. Tecia Torres – women’s strawweight fight
Jared Vanderaa vs. Aleksei Oleinik – heavyweight fight
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Dricus Du Plessis – middleweight fight
UPDATE: Our own Cole Shelton confirmed on Friday night that Vanderaa vs. Oleinik has now been shifted down to the early prelims. The card continues with five bouts on the pay-per-view portion of it, plus nine preliminary card fights (four on ESPN, and five on Fight Pass).
UFC 273 has a bout order shakeup, back to a 5 fight main card. Oleinik-Vanderaa is on the EARLY prelims. The main card will be the title fights, Chimaev-Burns, Dern-Torres, and Gastelum-Du Plessis. Ian Garry headlines the ESPN prelims. #UFC273
— Cole Shelton (@ColeShelton91) April 1, 2022
MMA journalist, podcast host, and handicapper for MyMMANews.com, MMAoddsbreaker.com, and Bookies.com. MMAOB Daily Podcast host. Join me LIVE @ 5 pm EST every Monday for my live free podcast. Over 10 years of experience writing about MMA. I love this sport.