The battle of the “Cowboys” at Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center ended in the favor of former lightweight title challenger Donald Cerrone Sunday night, as he made his UFC welterweight debut a successful one with a first-round submission win over Brazil’s Alex Oliveira.
“Today was the best that I felt because I didn’t have any worry; I just went out here and had some fun,” Cerrone, who was coming off a December loss to lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, said. “For once, this fight was for me.”
More from Fight Night Pittsburgh: Full results | Post-fight bonus recap | TITLE | Brunson, Garbrandt get big wins | Strickland, Bamgbose show off power punches | Evans-Smith gets back to winning ways | Backstage interviews: Chris Camozzi, Sean Strickland, Oluwale Bamgbose | Octagon interviews: Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, Derek Brunson, Ashlee Evans-Smith
Cerrone and Oliveira clinched up as the bout commenced, Oliveira firing off close range strikes as he bulled Cerrone to the fence. After a quick stay there, the two broke, each trying to get their long range game in gear. With two minutes gone, Cerrone took the bout to the mat and smoothly locked in a triangle choke. Moments later, Oliveira tapped. The official time of the finish was 2:33.
“My hat is off to this dude,” the 32-year-old Cerrone said. “He took a fight against me on short notice and came out here and fought hard. That’s awesome. We need more guys like that in the UFC.”
As for his own future, Cerrone simply said "If you want to get hurt, I know a guy."
Albuquerque’s Cerrone moves to 29-7, 1 NC with the win; Rio de Janeiro’s Oliveira, who replaced Tim Means on short notice, falls to 13-3-1 with 1 NC.