Charles Oliveira emerged victorious against Hatsu Hioki in a terrific battle of wits on the ground at UFC Fight Night 43, forcing the tap-out late in the second round thanks to an anaconda choke.
Punch for Hioki and a knee for Oliviera to start. Oliveira goes for an early takedown, but can’t quite get him down.
Hioki leaps up thinking about a flying triangle attempt! Doesn’t work out though and now Oliveira hops up onto him trying for a guillotine. He too lets go of the attempt though and they clinch against the cage.
Oliveira with a takedown, a scramble, back up and then Hioki gets him down and has his back. Exciting action to start here.
Hioki getting both hooks in now, but Oliveira manages to stand and now has Hioki pressed against the cage. Great back and forth grappling action here so far.
Nice knee for Oliveira, then Hioki gets double underhooks and lands a takedown. Hioki trying to pass from half guard, but Oliveira has him back into full guard.
Hioki posturing up and Oliveira finds space to stand back up. Oliveira goes back into the clinch against the cage, but hioki manages to reverse the position. No boring clinch work here though, both men are looking for ways to gain an advantage here.
It’s Hioki who manages to get another takedown. Oliveira with a choke attempt, but Hioki escapes. Nice knee to the body from Oliveira.
Hioki clinching up again as the round comes to a close.
Oliveira with a front kick and a punch to start. Then they start trading toe-to-toe for a few seconds. Oliveira closes in and goes for a takedown.
Hioki finds his feet and now it’s him in the clinch and getting the takedown of his own. Oliveira with a heel hook attempt and Hioki backs up and gets to his feet.
Eye poke to Oliveira as they stood up and that forces a brief stoppage. The doctor’s taking a look at him and it’s clear he’s struggling. Hopefully this fight doesn’t end as it’s been a good one so far.
Oliveira says he can fight on, so we’re good to continue, though he doesn’t look entirely comfortable.
Back to it they go and Oliveira’s throwing strikes ok and gets into the clinch. He tries for a takedown, but it’s Hioki who ends up on top with about 3 minutes to go in the round.
Oliveira throwing his legs up thinking about a submission, but Hioki is so savvy on the mat and keeps out of danger.
Oliveira still trying and he’s very crafty which forces Hioki to back off a bit and he almost gets back to his feet, before Hioki drives in again and keeps Oliveira on the mat close to the cage.
Hioki in side control now and as Oliveira tries to spin out he takes his back. Hioki is sporting a little blood on his face, but he’s in a good position here threatening with a potential rear-naked choke.
Oliveira is able to shake him off though and immediately looks for an anaconda choke. Wow, high level stuff here and he’s got it – Hioki taps!
Amazing stuff from Oliveira, becoming the first person to ever tap out Hioki. Both fighters played their part here though in what amounted to the best ground battle we’ve seen in the Octagon so far this year.