It was duelling cowboys at dusk for the main draw at tonight’s UFC Fight Night 83 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Cowboy vs. Cowboy duked it out when Donald Cerrone and Alex Oliveira both stepped up a weight division from lightweight (155 lbs) to welterweight (170 lbs) after Oliveira replaced welterweight Tim Means at short notice.
Oliveira bullied Cerrone up against the cage for the opening minute of the fight, then the two fighters traded blows in the center of the octagon, where Cerrone took Oliveira down into half guard after eating a hard jab-cross combination. The much more seasoned grappler easily worked to mount Oliveira (who’s only a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) and quickly sunk in a triangle choke, which he rolled to finish from the bottom position. Cerrone secured the submission victory at 2:33 of the very first round, his 16th win by submission in his professional career.
Cerrone was exultant after the fight, saying that it was the first time he “really felt alive out there.” Donald Cerrone said in the post-fight interview, as reported by Sherdog, that “It was good. It was fun. This fight was for me. I was telling my buddies, ‘I’ve got nothing to worry about.’ I’m not on a winning streak. I’m at a weight class I’m not even in. This is totally for fun. This whole week, the whole buildup. The whole experience. There was no where else I would rather be than right here tonight.”
Cerrone was all praise for his fellow “Cowboy,” Oliveira, who had stepped up on only two weeks notice to replace Tim Means, who had to withdraw due to a potential anti-doping violation. He was so impressed, he gave him a feather from the hat that he’s had since he was a child.
“I don’t know what gets more ‘Cowboy’ than him stepping up and taking a fight on two weeks’ notice. So to me, I gave him the feather out of my hat I’ve had since I’ve been a kid.”
Oliveira gladly accepted the gesture and assured him he’d look after it, and said with more than a hint of comradery that “That’s what Cowboys do, they step up.”
UFC Boss Dana White was unimpressed with the refereeing, and tweeted out his dismay that it took Oliveira ten taps to end the fight.
The other main draw was Derek Brunson facing Roan Carneiro in the middleweight division. After a slow start, Brunson swarmed Carneiro with a barrage of strikes on the mat from Carneiro’s open guard and he was awarded a TKO victory, making it Brunson’s 3rd consecutive first-round knockout and Carneiro’s first loss since 2011. Pittsburgh local Cody Garbrandt had just seven days notice before taking on Augusto Mendes at a catchweight of 142lbs. He finished Mendes on his feet as expected, thrilling his home crowd which takes Garbrandt to eight unbeaten.
Most spectacular fight of the evening went to Chris Camozzi breaking Joe Riggs’ arm in just 26 seconds. Landing a perfect right jab, the southpaw Camozzi came at Riggs with a series of brutal knees to the forearms and head, putting Riggs on the mat and forcing the referee to end the fight.
[Image via Shutterstock]