UFC Judo Chop: Charles Oliveira and Nik Lentz Put on a Marred Classic

Charles Oliveira's UFC on Versus 4 bout with Nik Lentz has been ruled a No Contest due to an illegal knee by Oliveira that the referee missed. The No Contest ruling means there is officially no winner and no loser in this bout. That's a frustrating end for a most excellent fight between two talented young light weights who gave it their all in the cage. 

Since we didn't want the skill and heart displayed by both fighters to be forgotten, we thought we'd do a Judo Chop on some of the best action in the fight. Both fighters showed a range of skills and excellent cage IQ's in countering some serious submission attacks and countering with threats of their own.

Analysis by T.P. Grant in the full entry.

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Gif by BE reader Grappo

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With about 2:15 seconds left in the first round we find Nik Lentz and Charles Oliveira in a standing exchange. Oliveira throws an energetic knee that causes him to slide off to Lentz's right, and Lentz slips in an under-hook. Oliveira transitions to a variation of the BJJ 'safe clinch' and attempts an O Guruma hip throw off that clinch. Oliveira's leg is just a touch too high on Lentz and the throw attempt does not destroy Lentz's balance and both fighters hit the mat in a neutral position and quickly scramble to their feet.

Oliveira then lands short and sassy right hand that drops Lentz and as Lentz falls to his back Oliveira pounces, positioning himself over Lentz to land more big right hands. Lentz then gets to his knees and attempts a double leg from his knee, leaving himself open to a front head lock choke.

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Oliveira stops Lentz's take-down by swimming for an under-hook with his left arm and getting an over-hook and sprawling. Once Lenz is flattened out and the take-down is stopped, Oliveira takes his under-hook and slides it under Lentz's chin. He then grasps his own bicep and attempts to lock in a D'arce Choke.

Oliveira stands into a low squat and uses his head and arm control to lift Lentz off the ground, he slides his right foot under Lentz's knee and attempts to elevator sweep him over to properly finish the head and arm choke. Lentz is able to stop his hips from reaching the point of no return and Oliveira closes his guard to prevent Lentz from rotating out of the choke.

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Once Oliveira closes his guard, he is able to use the momentum Lentz created trying to escape to roll to the mount position. Once in the mount, Oliveira releases his figure four grip, and while keeping his left arm under Lentz's chin attempts to grab his left wrist with his right hand, locking in a classic guillotine choke. Lentz does an excellent job of hip escaping under Oliveira, getting to his side and getting his knees under the Brazilian, forcing Oliveira to focus on maintaining his position rather than finishing the choke.

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Lentz continues to disrupt Oliveira's balance, but Oliveira has achieved the hand on wrist grip, he then locks his feet together under Lentz and allows himself to be rolled over. Oliveira immediately locks his guard down, trapping Lentz in the choke. This is a position of extreme danger for Lentz, the choke is locked and the guard is closed and his escape options are very limited.

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In a last ditch escape Lentz begins cross facing Oliveira with his left arm and pushing down on the choking elbow with his right hand. The two forces are enough to weaken Oliveira's grip on the choke just enough to slip free. But he is hardly safe inside Oliveira's guard, not shown in the gif is an almost immediate triangle attempt by the Brazilian, which Lentz is able to fend off and use to pass the guard. Rather than end up in side control Oliveira rolls to turtle and this position allows Lentz to return the favor of the choke attempt.

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Oliveira leaves his neck exposed in the turtle position and Lentz slips a forearm under his throat and locks a guillotine choke. Lentz attempts to jump into the guard, but Oliveira resists and they end up rolling to their sides in a pseudo-mount position for Lentz.

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As Lentz attempts to roll Oliveira on to his back and take the mount, the Brazlian is able to regain the half-guard and relieve some of the pressure of the choke. Lentz attempts to slide his knee out of the half-guard into mount but is blocked by Oliveira's left hand. As Lentz lifts his hips higher and higher in an attempt slide the knee through the weight on Oliveira is reduced until the Brazilian puts his left hand in Lentz's hip and rolls Lentz off him and again the fighters are laying on their sides, still in the half-guard.

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At this point the fighters are at a stalemate. The choke, while uncomfortable, is not in danger of being finished because of the position. It is however, preventing Oliveira from being able to escape from under Lentz. It has become a waiting game for the first mistake and it is Lentz who blinks first. Choosing to go for position over submission, Lentz releases the grip on his on wrist and posts his left arm on out the mat.

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As soon as Oliveira feels the pressure of the grip is gone he immediately gets to his knees and begins driving for a takedown. Lentz, realizing his error, attempts to re-lock the choke with Oliveira's arm in and drop to guard again, but the Brazilian is expecting this and leaps over Lentz's leg to side mount.

Lentz knows he cannot allow himself to be flat on his back under Oliveira with his arm wrapped around the Brazilian's head. It creates an opening for a BJJ 101 escape that is known to MMA fans as the Von Flue Choke. So Lentz tries to use his head and arm control to bulldog Oliveira over, but the positioning isn't right and it is a simple matter for for Oliveira to preform a sit-out escape back to standing.


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