Fan-friendly welterweight Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira is looking to make a big comeback when he faces Mike Perry on the main card of this weekend’s (Sat., April 27, 2019) UFC on ESPN+ 8 from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.
The action-focused Brazilian fighter was last seen losing a vicious bout to Gunnar Nelson at last December’s UFC 231. ‘Gunni’ tore Oliveira’s forehead wide open with a brutal elbow before ending the fight with a rear-naked choke. The gash opened by the elbow required 29 stitches. However, Oliveira was back in the gym as soon as those stitches were removed.
He now has an opportunity to bounce back strong against ‘Platinum’ in his opponent’s adopted home state of Florida. He was originally set to battle Jingliang Li, but an injury forced ‘The Leech’ off the card. Oliveira received a much more high-profile opponent as a result.
Heading into the fight, Oliveira is fully aware of Perry’s trash-talking, brawling style (via MMA Fighting):
“This guy, Mike Perry — I don’t even know how to say his name. … This guy is aggressive and brings problems. He’s a bit problematic, a trash talker, but he’s in for a fight. As long as he doesn’t talk about my mom, we’re cool. I’m focused, I’m feeling great. I’m ready for everything. The strategy changed a little bit, but let’s do it.”
Expecting To Brawl
Oliveira claimed he’s ready for any brawling style Perry may bring to the cage, even if he may have to adjust his strategy at some point:
“I’m expecting a brawl. That’s what he brings,” Oliveira said. “I’m focused, even if he comes with surprises. We’re two strikers, that’s what we expect from each other, but tactics may change during a fight because we’re fighting MMA. Anything can happen.”
Despite his loss to Nelson, Oliveira is extremely optimistic for the future. He’s hoping a win over Perry will vault him into a bout with a Top 10-ranked opponent next.
“The welterweight division is crowded, but we have to be ready for everything,” Oliveira said. “The champion has changed, there are a lot of big-name fighters there, but I’m a tough fight for anyone. I want to become UFC champion, so I have to stay focused and keep my hands heavy.
“Any top 10 [opponent], whoever they bring me next, I’m good,” he continued. “I’ll beat [Perry] anyway, I know that. It’s my time, it’s my moment. I had a hiccup (against Nelson), it’s part of the game, but I’m back now. I’ll run through [Perry] now. My time is coming.”
As for how his fight with Perry will end, Oliveira is predicting a knockout – one that will be enough to collect a post-fight bonus check from his employer:
“I see myself knocking him out. He’s a brawler. Wherever we go, it will be a war. [Dana White] can write the check for the best knockout of the night.”