Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight standouts Alex Oliveira and Piotr Hallmann scrapped last night (Nov. 7, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 77 inside Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Oliveira had taken three short-notice bouts prior to last night, and he impressed in each of those performances. Opposite "Pletwal," Oliveira was hoping that having a full camp would help him earn an impressive victory.
Heading into this bout, Hallmann had his back against the wall. Having lost his two most recent bouts, the Polish combatant was likely in a win-or-go-home situation.
Oliveira started the round strong, looking far larger than his opponent and landed some hard, if wild, strikes. After some crazy exchanges on the outside, Oliveira moved into the clinch and looked to land a takedown.
Though "Cowboy" failed to secure his takedown, he did grind on his opponent and land some solid strikes. Overall, Oliveira's physicality was simply too much for Hallmann, as he was a step ahead wherever the fight went in the opening round.
The Brazilian was clearly in control heading into the second round.
Oliveira looked to continue using his athleticism advantage in the next round, but Hallmann timed an early low kick to score an important takedown. Hallmann was working well from inside his opponent's guard, but he was stood up at about the halfway point nonetheless.
Back on their feet, Oliveira capitalized on a slip to to briefly take top position. However, Hallmann quickly reversed and landed on top in north-south. From there, he controlled his opponent until the end of the round.
It wasn't pretty, but Hallmann likely evened up the scorecards with some excellent top control.
Early in the third, Hallmann was doing well, landing some nice punches. However, Oliveira switched that around with a massive right hand, sending his opponent limp to the canvas.
Just like that, the competitive match up was suddenly over.
This fight really showed where the Brazilian "Cowboy" currently stands. He's a remarkable athlete and huge for the division. There are a ton of fighters that he'll blow clean out of the water in less than a round, and his technique is certainly growing as well.
That said, the 27 year old is still quite raw. He's been training mixed martial arts (MMA) for just about five years, which isn't long at all. There's no reason to rush him up the rankings, as that would only hurt him. Instead, another fighter in the middle of the division would be smart.
In particular, Oliveira needs to work on his defensive grappling. When put on his back, he really had no answer. If the referee had not gifted him a stand up in the middle of the second round, things could've gone quite differently for the prospect.
This is an unfortunate ending for Hallmann, who's likely to be released following this loss. His game of tiring Oliveira out was actually working, as the large lightweight was clearly slowing down a bit. Coupled with his success in the second round, "Pletwal" definitely had momentum on his side heading into the final frame.
Yet none of that mattered when Oliveira's right hand landed.
In this bout, Hallmann's biggest issue seemed to be an athletic one. Competing opposite a stronger fighter -- especially since Hallmann is known for his strength -- is difficult. Fighting with one who's stronger and faster? That's a very difficult challenge, and that disadvantage eventually caught up to him.
Last night, Alex Oliveira knocked out Piotr Hallmann to end an entertaining scrap. Where will "Cowboy" head from here?
For complete UFC Fight Night 77 "Henderson vs Belfort" results and play-by-play, click HERE!