Charles Oliveira was in top form tonight at UFC 256 as he got the better of Tony Ferguson on the feet and mat to earn a convincing decision victory.
Oliveira with a front kick to the body to start. Now a light leg kick. A harder one follows. Jumping kick to the body and then a punch for Ferguson.
Oliveira connects with a punch down the pipe. Oblique kick to the knee for Ferguson. Oliveira with a head kick that lands, but Ferguson eats it.
Now it’s Ferguson who connects with a clean punch. He’s threatening with an uppercut. Oliveira closes the distance and looks for a takedown, picking Ferguson up and slamming him to the mat.
Nice work from Oliveira. He stays patient and then skillfully moves through to full mount. Oliveira staying tight in this mount, so isn’t getting off any clean offense so far. He does manage to posture up enough to drop down a nice elbow.
Ferguson trying to get free, but Oliveira thrives on the mat and is controlling Ferguson well. Not much offense landed, but then he sits off to the side and goes for the armbar. It looks very tight, but there’s only seconds of the round remaining. The arm looks hyper-extended, but he toughs it out and survives to the end of the round.
Ferguson with a couple of kicks to start the round. Hard leg kick for Oliveira. Inside leg kick now for him and then a punch, followed by a takedown. Upkick from Ferguson, but it’s illegal as Olieira was grounded, so there’s a brief stoppage. Oliveira bleeding from a cut near his eye, but it wasn’t from the upkick, it happened due to an elbow as they were upright just before the takedown.
The ref starts the fight back on the mat with Oliveira on top. They scramble and Oliveira is staying on top, but Ferguson is attempting to wall walk on the cage.
Oliveira able to lands a few punches now. Ferguson is trying his best to find an angle for a submission attempt, but Oliveira is so far frustrating him. Oliveira in north south position and Ferguson is keeping him locked down, but unable to do anything offensive from his back.
Ferguson lands. Leg kick for Oliveira. Right hand for Ferguson. Leg kicks for Oliveira. Kick for Ferguson now. He tries a front kick, but Oliveira catches it and then works a solid takedown.
Another beautiful transition from Oliveira to get to full mount. Ferguson able to scramble, but Oliveira is so slick that he immediately locks up a triangle choke. Ferguson escapes that, but Oliveira settles on top again, in side control now.
Ferguson scrambling again and starts to wall walk, but Oliviera is all over him. Great scramble from Ferguson again, but Oliveira immediately slams him down again.
Oliveira in north-south now with less than a minute to go. Now to side control. Ferguson gets him to half-guard. Final 10 seconds now and Oliveira lands a few elbows as Ferguson also tries to land a few strikes from his back.
Great work from Oliveira here then, getting the better of Ferguson on the feet and dominating him on the mat to claim a well-earned unanimous decision victory (30-26 x3).
That was Oliveira’s best performance yet and takes him to eight wins in a row, which will strengthen his calls to be given a title shot next year.
As for Ferguson, his 12-fight winning streak is now firmly in the rear-view mirror as he contends with back-to-back losses that have dashed his title hope dreams.