Preview of UFC Fight Night 83: Cerrone vs. Oliveira [UPDATED]

By Owen Phillips     15/2/16

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Alex Oliveira. Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com

Who is the best Cowboy in the UFC?

Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira (13-3-1, 1NC) steps up to face Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone (28-7, 1NC) on short notice as the main event after Tim Means was removed for a potential drug test failure. UFC Fight Night 83 on Monday (Australian time) is Cerrone’s debut at welterweight and Oliveira is similar to Cerrone in not just nickname but edge-of-your-seat fighting style.

Alex Oliveira is no stranger to short notice fights. This will be his third short notice fight out of five Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) appearances. His phone is always left on in case UFC matchmaker Joe Silva needs a favour.

Oliveira has a slightly awkward striking style but it is effective. He stands tall and uses his reach with straight punches and kicks to keep his opponent at range. His head does not move too much which could be a problem against an accurate striker like Cerrone.

Oliveira would prefer to take the fight to the ground to impose his slick Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) and look for the submission finish. Against Gilbert Burns he wanted to keep the fight on the feet due to Burns having comparably better BJJ. In this bout Oliveira was able to use his straight punches to ward of BJJ specialist Burns for most of the fight and almost cause an upset result.

Donald Cerrone’s home has been at lightweight but now after a failed title attempt against Rafael Dos Anjos he moves up to welterweight for a fresh start and a more comfortable weight cut. Cerrone has been of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) due to his ‘anyone, anytime, anywhere’ attitude. He lives his life having fun and enjoying extreme sports such as wakeboarding and bullriding.

Cerrone will look too hurt Oliveira on the feet with his Muay Thai attack and can finish the fight with strikes or utilize his own proficient grappling to get the submission. This bout between the two ‘Cowboys’ brings together fighters of similar mindset and it is going to be very intriguing to find out who is the number one ‘Cowboy’ in the UFC. Ben Fowlkes from MMAjunkie also wrote a great article about this match-up.

Standout battle at bantamweight will have to wait for a later date

An absolute blockbuster bantamweight collision on the main card that was planned but now is cancelled was between Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt (7-0) and John ‘Hands of Stone’ Lineker (26-7). Lineker has had to pull out due to Dengue fever and Augusto Mendes (5-0) will fill in as a late replacement. Mendes is very dangerous on the ground with his high level BJJ and will make his UFC debut.

Garbrandt has fashioned a six-fight win streak with five stoppages and has looked sensational in his MMA career so far, training out of Urijah Faber’s Team Alpha Male. He brings a good wrestling base and power in his punches.

Mendes will prefer to take this fight to the ground to have any chance against Garbrandt and this is a great opportunity to make a name for himself.

Bermudez faces a difficult task against ‘Crusher’

A fight not to miss on the main card is a featherweight tussle between Dennis Bermudez (14-5) and Tatsuya Kawajiri (35-8-2). Dennis ‘The Menace’ has been near the top of the division for a while and was close to getting a title shot when he was stopped by Ricardo Lamas. He followed that up with his most recent performance against Jeremy Stephens where he was on the wrong end of a devastating flying knee.

‘Crusher’ Kawajiri has so much experience and is still fanning the flames of his illustrious MMA career. Both competitors are physically strong and have great wrestling. Bermudez has good striking and may look to test Kawajiri on the feet with hand combinations.

‘Crusher’ does his best work on the ground and will look to take Bermudez down and score strikes whilst using relentless top control. Bermudez is not to taken lightly on the mat but is more comfortable attacking from top position than his back.

Wild middleweight collision

On the fox sports preliminary card, Oluwale Bamgbose (5-1) is paired up with Daniel Sarafian (9-5) in a potential fight-of-the-night slugfest. Bamgbose made his UFC debut in a short notice bout against Uriah Hall which was an uphill battle from the start of the fight and ended in a TKO loss.

Sarafian has not fought since December 2014 but always puts on entertaining fights, doesn’t mind staying in the pocket to trade punches and has a history of finishing fights via submission. Bamgbose will be trying to get his first UFC win and establish himself in the middleweight roster. This is a great opportunity for him to get a victory over an athlete who the fans can rely on for excitement and has had success in the UFC.

Bamgbose’s style is to overwhelm his opponent with strikes and this sets up a mouth-watering clash with Sarafian. Sarafian is not going to back down and will aim to counter with heavy hands. Do not look away during this fight.