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Fight Archives: Charles Oliveira gracefully strangles Kevin Lee

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The lightweight division’s master strangler in his element.

UFC Fight Night: Lee v Oliveira Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC

I usually dig deep into years, even decades past whenever I write these pieces. But in preparation for UFC 256 this weekend, I’ll be rummaging through the shallower end of the pile.

With 19 out of 29 fights won by submission, you can’t help but be in awe of Charles Oliveira’s game. 17 out of those 19 subs were strangleholds, the guillotine being his primary weapon. His latest victim: the pride of Grand Rapids, Kevin Lee.

What I’ve always admired about Oliveira’s fighting style is the unrelenting pace he puts his opponents through. He is in constant attack mode, whether you’re fighting him on the feet or on the ground. You won’t see him just laying there in closed guard and unnecessarily absorbing punches. The moment you put him on his back, he will disorient you with a series of armbars and triangle attacks.

And of course, there’s the fight-ending sequence. Just look at how he masterfully fed that head into the hole. All the fundamentals were at work and topped off with a nice “Do Bronx” touch. That $50,000 bonus was indeed well-warranted.

The next name on Oliveira’s task list is the boogeyman himself, Tony Ferguson. And I’m probably in the minority here, but I’m going with Chucky Olives on this one.