Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight kickboxers Carlos Condit and Alex Oliveira went to war last night (April 14, 2018) at UFC on FOX 29 from inside Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
It’s been a rough couple years for Condit, who nearly captured the title before a split-decision led to his current losing streak. Instead of reigning over the division as champion, Condit came into the fight on a three-fight losing streak in a pretty desperate position.
On the other hand, the Brazilian “Cowboy” lived up to his American counterpart by accepting this bout on short-notice. Though his last loss was a “Fight of the Year” winner, it did drop him out of the rankings. Luckily, last night was a chance for Oliveira to regain that position and score the biggest win of his career.
Oliveira looked very loose early on, and he landed a big counter right hand on the advancing Condit. Condit tried to put the pressure on the Brazilian, but Oliveira answered with a clinch, body lock, and big slam takedown into half guard.
Oliveira controlled for about a minute, but Condit was able to build up to his knees and complete a double leg of his own. When Oliveira tried to kick off the fence and explode, Condit was able to spin onto his back. Condit immediately attacked with the rear-naked choke.
Multiple attempts were very close, but Oliveira survived until the bell.
Condit opened the second with a high kick, which was caught and converted into an awkward takedown. Oliveira opened a bad cut with some elbows, but once again allowed Condit to build up to his knees and reverse with a double leg. This time, Condit was unable to maintain top position, as Oliveira landed a big uppercut and immediately scrambled up.
Once more, Condit tried to drive into a double leg. This time, however, Oliveira was able to snag a guillotine choke. He used the choke to reverse Condit along the fence, continuing to apply pressure to the squeeze. Condit fell to his back in an attempt to defend, but Oliveira’s lanky strength would not be denied. The Brazilian soon wound up close to the mount, which gave him enough leverage to force the tap.
Oliveira didn’t start mixed martial arts (MMA) until later in life, which is a bit obvious. Each area of his game is a little awkward, and there are obvious holes. At the same time, Oliveira is a confirmed knockout threat with big power takedowns, and apparently he can squeeze the life out of a veteran like Condit.
In this matchup specifically, Oliveira lived and died on his powerful grappling. His strength-based wrestling nearly gave Condit an early rear-naked choke, but it also produced a big sweep and strangulation.
Don’t sleep on the Brazilian “Cowboy.”
As for Condit, things seemed to be going fairly well. Neither man was dominating the stand up, but Condit held his own in both the wrestling and grappling exchanges. Plus, given Condit’s history of excellent conditioning and Oliveira’s more suspect cardio, winning the first round seemed to really shift the odds into the veteran’s favor.
Unfortunately, Condit has never been the most skilled wrestler. While that double leg worked for him twice, Condit has far less experience defending the choke from that position than a true wrestler. That lack of experience — combined perhaps with getting cracked by an upkick — left him vulnerable to that power guillotine.
It was a better performance from Condit, but he is now on a four-fight losing streak with little certainty regarding his fighting future.
Last night, Alex Oliveira strangled his foe to end a back-and-forth battle. What’s next for ‘Cowboy?’
For complete UFC on FOX 29 “Gaethje vs. Poirier” results and play-by-play, click HERE!