Alex Oliveira scored the biggest win of his MMA career Saturday night in Portland, giving Will Brooks a third-round TKO loss at UFC Fight Night 96. However, what happened before and after the fight got more attention than the victory itself.
Oliveira missed weight by 5.5 pounds on Friday morning, which got his opponent fired up. The fight went on as a catchweight, and "Cowboy" stopped the former Bellator lightweight champion with 90 seconds left on the clock.
Moments after the finish, the Brazilian gave Brooks a "crotch chop" and walked away. He apologizes to the fans for his actions, but won’t apologize to his opponent.
"I don’t care what people say or don’t say, he started it after the weigh-in by calling me names, my manager and my coaches," Oliveira told MMA Fighting. "He crossed the line, he didn’t need that. After the fight, I exaggerated, I crossed the line, and I apologize to everyone, but I will never apologize to him. I don’t regret what I did to him."
Brooks was upset with the fact that Oliveira badly missed weight for UFN 96, and Oliveira understands that. However, the way Brooks acted following the weigh-ins was too much, the Brazilian explains.
"We apologized to him for missing weight, said that we would understand if he doesn’t wanted to fight anymore. He accepted to fight, but then he completely changed," Oliveira said. "He started insulting me and my family. During the fight, I knew I’d be too much for him. And he’s lucky I only hit him with my left hand. If I hit him with the right hand, I’d have cut his face up."
Oliveira blames the long flight for missing weight, which could have also made his fellow Brazilians Hacran Dias and John Lineker come overweight for their bouts, too. The local athletic commission determined that "Cowboy" couldn’t weigh more than 175 pounds on fight night, and his team was worried about it. In the end, Oliveira says it didn’t affect his performance.
"I had to be at 175 pounds when I got to the arena," he said. "I couldn’t go over that limit, but it didn’t make any difference in the fight. I usually gain 20 pounds hours after the weigh-ins, and go up to 190 on the day of the fight, so I had to control my weight this time."
Oliveira has yet to decide if his next fight will take place in the lightweight division or if he will move permanently to welterweight. He vows to fight whoever the UFC puts in front of him, but one thing is for sure: "Cowboy" won’t stop training at American Top Team because of his relationship with Brooks.
"I’ll still train at ATT. I won’t think twice about it," Oliveira said. "If he tries something there, things will get ugly. I always train there, and that won’t change because of the things he did this week. That’s between us. We’re two men, and if he started it, he has to deal with it. I’m a cool guy, I won’t do anything if he doesn’t. I don’t like this, but he crossed the line."
On his Twitter, Brooks reacted to Oliveira's intention to continue training at American Top Team for his future UFC fights.
I promise you as long as I'm at ATT you and your scumbag cheating coaches and manager won't step foot in that gym. https://t.co/t9H7lxVSMM— Will Brooks (@TRILLwillbrooks) 3 de outubro de 2016