The UFC has signed another talent from Nova Uniao.
Coming off three straight first-round finishes at Shooto Brazil and Pancrase, Felipe Olivieri has inked an exclusive deal with the promotion, sources confirmed to MMAFighting.com following a report by Combate.
A former Shooto Brazil contender, Olivieri (14-4, 1 NC) tried out for the second season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil in 2012, but lost to Neilson Gomes in the preliminary fight. Aside from his MMA debut in 2007, Olivieri has finished all of his opponents via knockout or submission.
Olivieri joins 16 other fellow Nova Uniao members in the UFC, including the likes of featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo, former bantamweight champion Renan Barao, Claudia Gadelha, Thales Leites, Jussier Formiga and Johnny Eduardo.
Olivieri’s Octagon debut is still to be determined, but he could replace a lightweight at UFC Fight Night 77 in case of injury. The fight card, scheduled for Nov. 7 in Sao Paulo, features four 155-pound bouts: Alex Oliveira vs. Piotr Hallmann, Gilbert Burns vs. Rashid Magomedov, Abel Trujillo vs. Gleison Tibau, and Yan Cabral vs. Johnny Case.
UPDATE: Olivieri confirmed the deal with MMAFighting.com.
"I can say I’m fulfilling a dream," he said. "For many years I wanted to fight in the UFC. I’ve been through several difficulties, several hard trainings, and I’ve worked hard to be in the biggest fighting promotion in the world to represent my country.
"It’s my time now, and I will make Brazil proud and continue to show the excellence of training and friendship at Nova Uniao. My master Luiz Alves will always be on my side, blessing me and protecting me. I’ve worked hard for this contract, and won’t let my new bosses down. I will show my talent, always humble and believing in God.
"I also want to thank Johnny Eduardo, Andre Pederneiras, my boxing coach Alex, Giovanni Diniz, my parents, and my biggest role model, Jose Aldo."