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Rafaello Oliveira Considered Retiring From MMA After Gomi Fight Fell Through

UFC lightweight fighter Rafaello Oliveira was so distraught after finding out that his Affliction: Trilogy fight against Takanori Gomi was canceled a week before the pay-per-view that he considered retiring from MMA.

Oliveira, who was only 27 years old at the time, had competed in 10 pro MMA fights prior to the proposed Gomi fight in August 2009, but a win over "The Fireball Kid" would have undoubtedly been the biggest of his career.

"That was really bad," Oliveira said on this week's edition of The MMA Hour. "I was training real hard. At that time, I was at BJ's [Penn] camp in California, so I was really preparing. But I try to put God in my way all the time, so I think it wasn't the time. So, I just relaxed, I was depressed for a little time. I called my wife and said, 'Oh, baby, I'm going to stop to do MMA,'" he said.

"Yeah, you start to think about it because you're just fighting with no income."

Thankfully for him, he received a contract offer from UFC matchmaker Joe Silva to fight at UFC 103 against Nik Lentz. "Tractor" lost that fight via decision but did beat John Gunderson at UFC 108 to pick up his first Octagon win. His next fight is against Andre Winner at UFN 21 on March 31.

Coincidentally, Oliveira will be fighting on the same card as Gomi's UFC debut against Kenny Florian. But if you think he is eyeing another shot at the Japanese fighter, think again.

"Not really," he said when asked if his goal is to fight Gomi in the UFC. "Personally, I don't want to fight nobody. Whatever the organization gives to me, I'm going to focus on that guy and try to beat him. I was really a big fan of Gomi. You know, in Brazil at that time, PRIDE was a big thing, it wasn't the UFC. But I don't have nobody, like, 'Oh, I want to fight that guy.' I just want to fight with guys, building my career and after being [one of] the top dogs in the UFC."

Oliveira, who splits his training time these days between Knoxville, Tenn., and New Jersey, thinks Florian will defeat Gomi later this month.

He knows he'll have his hands full with Winner, a finalist on the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter, who is known for his striking, but he doesn't believe the Team Rough House member brings anything to the fight that he can't deal with.

"I think he's a really tough fighter. He has his background in striking, but I'm not really not impressed with his striking at all," Oliveira said.

"I think I can bang a little bit with him, make him think I am going to take him down and stand up and take him down. I will see if he is really well-rounded. After I take his back to the ground, I will see if he's a good fighter or not or just have good jiu-jitsu. But he's a good striker, you know, I take my hat off to him. He's a good striker, but I don't think he's that great."

[Editor's note: Check out Oliveira, Jim Miller, Charlie Brenneman and AMA Fight Club trainer/owner Mike Constantino on this week's edition of The MMA Hour below.]

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