Contender Series 2021 winner Saimon Oliveira made his octagon debut at UFC 270 on Saturday, up against former KOTC and CES MMA bantamweight champ Tony Gravely.
While Oliveira came in on a full head of steam, riding a five-fight win streak, Gravely was looking to bounce back from a loss to Nate Maness in his last outing.
Early on, Oliveira launched into a flying knee attempt. But when it fell short, the Brazilian was stuck with Gravely on top of him. He didn’t seem to mind. Instead, he caught Gravely in a guillotine choke, and put the squeeze on. Gravely was in a bad spot, but gutted it out, eventually pulling free despite not bothering to really fight the hands.
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From there, Gravely moved to half-guard, firing away with ground n’ pound while Saimon Oliveira did little more than cover up. The barrage wasn’t violent enough to warrant a stoppage, however. Instead, Gravely just built up a lead on the scorecards, until Oliveira wall-walked up with roughly half the round remaining.
He wasn’t up for long. Gravely landed a trip, and this time, Oliveira’s guillotine attempt was short lived. So was the takedown, and Oliveira was soon back up, leading to him reversing Gravely momentarily, before Gravely put him back on the fence. Oliveira would manage one more guillotine attempt before the end of the round.
It was another takedown early in round two from Gravely — and another guillotine attempt from Oliveira. On the feet, Gravely drove his opponent into the cage, but the Brazilian did manage to fire knees and eventually reverse. He also had a little more pep in his step by the midway point of the second — though Gravely would change levels and land yet another takedown. Going into the final minute, Gravely landed some big ground strikes, which forced Oliveira to scramble out and up. The American let his hands go as Oliveira covered up to end the frame.
Oliveira opened up the third round with another flying knee attempt that ended up more of a kick. When Gravely took him down, Oliveira answered with another guillotine attempt. But the definition of insanity, as they say, is repeating the same actions again and again, expecting different results. The results for Oliveira were no different, as Gravely easily avoided the submission, moved into half-guard, and put the pressure on.
A standing guillotine by Oliveira in the final two minutes looked slick, but when Oliveira took it to the ground, Gravely used the fence to escape the hold. By that point, Tony Gravely had a good ten takedowns (he’d later add an eleventh), and plenty of control time. He even managed to tag Oliveira with an uppercut in the final minute. They scrapped it out until the final bell; come the scorecards being read, there were zero surprises.
Official Result: Tony Gravely def. Saimon Oliveira by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)