Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight newcomers Donald Cerrone and Alex Oliveira threw down last night (Feb. 21, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 83 inside Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
When Cerrone's attempt to capture the Lightweight title ended rather poorly, he decided to abandon ship and move up a weight class. Now fighting merely for fun -- as well as the all important paycheck -- Cerrone was looking to ensure this move was a successful one.
Oliveira has been living up to their shared moniker by taking any available fights at any weight class regardless of the short-notice. This continued here, as Oliveira suddenly found himself with an opportunity to earn the biggest win of his career.
The Brazilian "Cowboy" started quickly, forcing his opponent into the clinch and landing some hard punches. Oliveira attempted to transition into a takedown, but Cerrone reversed and moved back into the center of the Octagon.
Two minutes into the round, Cerrone scored a takedown into half guard. Just moments later, Cerrone passed into mount and capitalized on his opponent's arm position, sliding into a triangle choke and rolling to his back.
Almost immediately, Oliveira tapped out (more on that finish here).
This was a classic Cerrone performance. After a slow start and taking some punches, Cerrone got into his game and was very effective. Against all but the best, that's been enough to win and usually finish.
So far, that has remained true at Welterweight.
Cerrone's grappling has always been fantastic, and he looked the part here. His transition into the triangle was beautiful, and he finished the choke very quickly. What more can you ask for?
After this win, Cerrone has made it clear that he intends to stay at Welterweight. His position in this new division is still unclear, so he doesn't need a top contender just yet. However, knowing "Cowboy," he'll simply take the next fight available regardless of rank.
Oliveira was never likely to win this, but he gave it a strong attempt early on. He closed the distance well and landed some hard shots, which is really all that could be expected of him, as he's a very raw fighter.
Once on the mat, the technical gap between these two was clear.
Similar to Cerrone, it's not clear whether Oliveira will get a full camp next time around or take another short-notice out. Either way, it's sure to be an entertaining fight, as Oliveira is aggressive and still improving.
Last night, Donald Cerrone choked out his opponent inside of a round. Where does "Cowboy" go from here?
For complete UFC Fight Night 83 "Cerrone vs Oliveira" results and play-by-play, click HERE!