Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight up-and-comers Will Brooks and Charles Oliveira battled last night (April 8, 2017) at UFC 210 inside KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.
Brooks entered the UFC as a dominant champion from Bellator, expected to immediately find his way as a top contender. Instead, he hit an unexpected rough patch in his previous performance, putting some pressure on “Ill Will” to bounce back strong in this match up.
On the other hand, weight struggles and inconsistency have plagued the obviously talented Oliveira throughout his career. After missing weight (again) and finding himself on the wrong end of a slick comeback submission, Oliveira relocated to 155 lbs. — though he says its an impermanent move — and looked to return to the win column.
It was a masterful return to Lightweight.
The Brazilian opened the bout with some hard kicks and a slick inside trip. Brooks inched his way towards the fence, but Oliveira returned him to the mat with a big slam. This time, Brooks rushed his way back to his feet, which allowed Oliveira to transition into the standing back mount.
Immediately, Oliveira snared his arm around Brooks jawline and locked in the grip. The squeeze may not have been under the neck, but Brooks was still in serious trouble. He did his best to fight the grip, but Oliveira maintained his hold and eventually finished the hold in arguably the best performance of his career (see it again here).
There’s not a ton to break down here. On the feet, Oliveira was throwing hard kicks, which is standard for him. However, the initial inside trip was far more forceful than most of his previous takedown attempts, and his return was smooth as well.
Aside from that, this was classic Oliveira. He’s absurdly dangerous on the mat and thrives in transition. Thanks to his length and jiu-jitsu mastery, he’s able to lock onto the neck from strange positions while still being able to quickly end the fight.
That’s precisely what happened here. Following this win, Oliveira is once again a factor at 155 lbs., where he should definitely remain. Next up, a fight with a ranked opponent like Beneil Dariush would make plenty of sense.
As for Brooks, this was the worst-case scenario. He was taken to the mat before the fight really began, while Oliveira was still at his best. Once there, he did a nice job defending and working back to his feet at first, but he rushed on the second attempt.
It cost him.
This is yet another disastrous turn of events for Brooks. Despite his talent and success in Bellator, he’s now lost two straight. It’s not yet clear whether these losses are the result of a bit of bad luck — there were certainly some odd circumstances in the Alex Oliveira fight — or if his style is simply not effect in the UFC’s Lightweight division.
If he receives another fight, it’s a must-win.
Last night, Charles Oliveira quickly overwhelmed and submitted his opponent. Can Oliveira win consistently at 155 lbs.?
For complete UFC 210 “Cormier vs. Johnson” results and play-by-play, click HERE!