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UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3 - Idiot's Guide Preview to Alex Oliveira vs Piotr Hallmann

David Castillo breaks down the three things you need to know about a fight that will likely be over before the third round at UFN 77 in Brazil.

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

A pair of lightweight get into the usual lightweight violence tango this November 7, 2015 at the Venue Ginásio do Ibirapuera in São Paulo, Brazil.

The Match Up

Lightweight Alex Oliveira 13-2-1 NC vs. Piotr Hallmann 15-4

The Odds

Lightweight Alex Oliveira -225 vs. Piotr Hallmann +185

3 Things You Should Know

1. Oliveira will never be as good as the real Cowboy of lightweight (though as a former rodeo bullrider, it's at least a valid nickname), but he shares enough in common with Cerrone to be in good company.

Oliveira was never some stud prospect, but I wouldn't call him one despite a still ripe 27 year son this planet. But he's got plenty of game, and I don't think it hit fans or even analysts that hard until he beat K.J. Noons:

Oliveira is 2-1 in the UFC. His only loss is to the highly touted Gilbert Burns. I still underestimate him a bit, but at minimum he'll be a Thiago Tavares like presence; a fighter good for some exciting action, and potential scares against prospects, but not someone who will become the defacto gatekeeper of LW.

2. Hallmann doesn't deserve this fight, but he's good enough to beat Alex.

Hallman is on the verge of a pink slip. He's 2-3 in the octagon with his last two being back to back losses to Magomedov Mustafaev and Gleison Tibau in a highly entertaining affair. Not only that but he stalled his UFC career after the Tibau bout when he popped for Drostanolone. He's only gone to a decision 3 times in his 19 fight career. You can see why the UFC was interested in him despite not having a particularly high ceiling.

3. If this fight doesn't end in the first round, it'll end before three.

Their respective games are just too dynamic. Oliviera has a not so subtle striking game that hinges on velocity on velocity. He's owns violent kicks off both legs, has brutal knees, and packs a wallop in his punches. He reminds me a lot of Iuri Alcantara; just like Iuri, he's legitimately talented on the ground where his athleticism enables a quick transition game.

The problem with Oliveria is that he doesn't possess a holistic approach to fighting; there's an out of context demeanor to his offense. He throws combinations because he can, and will go for the big submissions, but there's no grand design. His defense could use some some improvement as well.

For Hallmann, he's got similar issues. His striking is sharp; particular the right hand that he'll lead with. He doesn't have face melting power, but his speed and accuracy will sting to create a similar effect. He's good at mixing it up, and is adept on the ground.

The reason this fight will end sooner rather than later is that neither guy has an off switch; both guys pressure forward with a ton of different weapons, but their respective trump cards come from the accumulation of figurative darts thrown at the board. It's a coin flip fight, and one Hallmann can turn to his advantage, but who can tell with these things?


Hallmann's a fantastic underdog pick. But his punches are thrown too wide at times, and he has a tendency to duck and lunge, which will find appropriate homes for Oliveira's knees, and punches. Alex Oliveira by TKO, round 2.

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