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Friday, September 9, 2011
Big Jon Olav Einemo fancies return to UFC

By Chuck Mindenhall

John Olav Einemo
Sergei Kharitonov will have a very big supporter in the form of John Olav Einemo on Saturday.
CINCINNATI -- Heavyweight John Olav Einemo, one of the casualties in the Golden Glory cuts of a several weeks back, is in town to corner his training partner Sergei Kharitonov, who’s hoping to be the triumphant dark horse in the Strikeforce GP.

Einemo was cut after one fight in the UFC -- a loss to Dave Herman that earned fight of the night honors at UFC 131 -- due to discrepancies between the UFC’s policy on fighter pay and how Golden Glory handles accounting matter. Einemo says he’s pretty optimistic that he’ll be fighting again soon, and he foresees repairing his relationship with the UFC.

“At the moment I don’t really know because we’re just focused on Sergei’s training and getting him ready for the fight,” he said. “I think my management is very busy. My feeling is that it’s going the right way. I really hope and believe that this thing with Zuffa [is being worked out]. I don’t think it’s going to be any problem anymore; I think it’s already fixed.”

Einemo was scheduled to face Shane Carwin in June at UFC 131, but when Carwin was bumped up to the main event slot to face Junior dos Santos, he was dealt “Pee-Wee” Herman. The fight was back and forth, and Einemo came close to finishing Herman at one point. In the end he lost the fight, but picked up $70,000 in bonus money for making a good showing of it.

With fellow Golden Glory member Alistair Overeem having signed a deal with the UFC, indications are that Einemo could end up back with the promotion soon. There is a relative lack of depth in the UFC’s heavyweight division, and it’s one of the reasons why Einemo thinks he can make some waves.

“It’s a very exciting division for me to go to,” he said. “My last fight, I feel I have a lot more capability than that. It was five years since I fight the last time; the first time in a big show again. So I think I [can] make some trouble in that division.”
Dave Herman vs Jon Olav Einemo
Jon Olav Einemo, left, was that close to a successful UFC debut -- before Dave Herman struck.

Einemo spent those five years raising his son, working to support his family and rehabbing from lingering injuries. If he had ring rust in Vancouver, it didn’t show. Presuming he does end up back in the UFC, there are a lot of guys that would make for fun fights. Einemo says that he’d be fine with seeing his original opponent, Carwin, whom he feels he’d have fared well against.

“I think that it was a better match-up for me than Pee-Wee Herman, actually,” he said.

We could soon find out. And as for his prediction on who wins between Kharitonov and Josh Barnett in tomorrow night’s main event?

“Sergei by knockout, maybe in the second round.”