Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight sluggers Alex Oliveira and Mike Perry will throw down this Saturday (April 27, 2019) at UFC Fight Night 150 from BB&T Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
This is sure to be a firefight, as neither Oliveira nor Perry understand restraint. Both men are known to step into the pocket and trade without any regard for their well-being. The results have been great victories and tough losses for each man, but overall both men have carved out positions in the Welterweight roster for their talents. More specifically, Oliveira has briefly been ranked inside the top 15 several times now, whereas Perry is younger in his career and still needs a couple big wins to gain such status.
Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:
Record: 19-6-1 (2)
Key Wins: Carlos Condit (UFC on FOX 29), Ryan LaFlare (UFC on FOX 25), Tim Means (UFC Fight Night 106), Will Brooks (UFC Fight Night 96)
Key Losses: Gunnar Nelson (UFC 231), Donald Cerrone (UFC Fight Night 83), Yancy Medeiros (UFC 218)
Keys to Victory: Oliveira is a physical talent. The former Lightweight is still quite tall and rangy at 170 pounds, but Oliveira is not without strength. In fact, the Brazilian carries massive power in his punches, and judging by his results in wrestling exchanges, Oliveira’s strength is pretty incredible as well.
This is a really interesting match up. Both men have great natural instincts for fighting, but can be a bit iffy on the technical aspects. Perhaps more important, both men hit extremely hard.
If I’m in Oliveira’s corner, I’d like to see the Brazilian avoid the pocket. Make no mistake, he could very well knockout Perry with a massive punch, but Oliveira’s boxing can be ugly: he’s prone to charging forward and lunging with punches, which is a no-go against an accurate puncher like Perry. Luckily, Perry’s more boxing-oriented style does leave him vulnerable to kicks, meaning Oliveira should be blasting him out of stance with power kicks whenever possible.
Pursuing the takedown also seems a worthwhile strategy for the Brazilian. Thus far, Perry has proven a pretty sound defensive wrestler, but Oliveira’s physicality tends to mean he can get his foes down in the first round. If Perry makes a mistake in the ensuing scramble, that could be the only opening “Cowboy” requires.
Key Wins: Paul Felder (UFC 226), Jake Ellenberger (UFC Fight Night 108), Hyun Gyu Lim (UFC 202), Danny Roberts (UFC 204)
Key Losses: Santiago Ponzinibbio (UFC on FOX 26), Donald Cerrone (UFC Fight Night 139), Alan Jouban (UFC on FOX 22), Max Griffin (UFC on FOX 28)
Keys to Victory: Now in his fifth year as a professional and seemingly training a bit smarter, Perry is hopefully about to turn a corner. Perry has always been a natural fighter, but his last couple fights have definitely seen him get a bit smarter, though the results have still been mixed.
This match up, though? I’m not sure there’s a way to fight Oliveira smart. The Brazilian guarantees madness whenever he steps into the cage, and it’s probably in Perry’s best interest to partake.
Perry has the sharper hands in the pocket, and unlike Oliveira, he doesn’t need to run into his punches to produce knockouts. The closest comparison to Oliveira’s boxing that Perry has faced in the past is Hyun Gyu Lim: the two are simple brawlers. Perry proved in that fight a great talent for picking off wildness with heavy counter punches of his own, a skill that should return here with a vengeance.
If Perry can force some exchanges in the punching range, it shouldn’t take long for him to find Oliveira’s chin.
Bottom Line: I try to save my favorite Patrick Cote quote for appropriate occasions, and this one fits: BANGFEST! There will be blood, likely from both Oliveira and Perry as they try to destroy one another in fairly straightforward terms. The two may be coming off losses, but that does little to extinguish the excitement ahead of this slugfest.
Divisionally, there are certainly consequences for each man. At 31 years of age, Oliveira is in his prime, and it seems that his ceiling is this grey area just around that No. 15 position. A win gets him closer to regaining that spot, whereas a loss further clarifies that Oliveira just isn’t a top contender.
The stakes are perhaps higher for Perry. Both men have the physical gifts to be among the elite, but Perry is still the younger man and seems to have a better understanding of the technical side of fighting. There’s still a real hope that Perry will put it all together and began climbing the ranks, but that hope fades each time he loses a winnable fight.
However, knocking out Oliveira could be his biggest win yet and help promise more is to come.
At UFC Fight Night 150, Alex Oliveira and Mike Perry will meet in the center of the Octagon. Which man will have his hand raised?