Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
Rafaello Oliveira defeated Yoislandy Izquierdo by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Rafaello Oliveira used his stifling ground game to pick up a unanimous decision victory over Yoislandy Izquierdo in the opening bout of UFC 148. Izquierdo had some moments on the feet in the first two rounds, but gave up takedowns and was largely dominated on the floor. Oliveira sat in side control for much of the fight and threatened with americanas, but didn't really come close to finishing.
Izquerido opened the fight with some nice body kicks and a solid knee against the cage. As the Brazilian fans in the crowd chanted his name, Oliveira got a single leg takedown. After passing to side control he looked for some subs and tried to mount, but Izquierdo defended. Eventually he got to mount with 75 seconds to go, but Izquierdo used the transition to escape back to the feet. Oliveira got another takedown but Yoislandy used his momentum to roll right through it. Cuba finished off with some nice striking.
Izquierdo opened the second with a series of straight lefts and a flying knee, but Oliveira ducked a punch and took it to the floor. Oliveira got to side again. Cuba briefly threatened with a triangle, but there wasn't anything there. Oliveira was steadily bleeding from a forehead cut, but he still looked for a variety of armlocks. The ref checked the cut which was good to go, and they were restarted from the same position. Oliveira looked for americanas again, bit there was nothing there and he rode out the round on top.
Izquierdo lost some steam on his strikes to start the third, and got taken down once again. Oliviera took longer to pass this time, but eventually got to side once again. A failed americana led to a brief escape, but Tractor quickly re-established top position. He finally got the mounted crucifix briefly but quickly lost it. Oliveira rode out the round.
Both men entered the fight badly in need of a win. Oliviera had lost his first two bouts since his return to the organization, while Izquierdo dropped his debut to Reza Madadi at UFC on Fuel 2 in April.