In the co-main event, the Brazilian dominated former interim champion Tony Ferguson from the first second of the fight until the very last to win a lopsided unanimous decision. The scorecards all read 30-26 with Oliveira getting the victory for his eighth win in a row overall.
“I was the only guy to accept this fight,” Oliveira said afterwards. “I knew this was going to be a really tough fight but 2021, I’m coming. He’s a champion. I knew he wasn’t going to tap out.
“You tell me, who has dominated him like that?”
As expected, Ferguson and Oliveira were quick to begin firing shots at each other as soon as the fight got started. Oliveira was the early aggressor but Ferguson had no problem playing counter fighter while cracking the Brazilian with a couple of stiff punches.
Oliveira eventually drifted inside where he picked Ferguson up from the body lock and brought him crashing back down to the canvas. A split second later, Oliveira shredded Ferguson’s defense to move into the mount where he began peppering away with inside punches and elbows.
Just before the horn sounded, Oliveira fell into an armbar and the submission was completely locked in but somehow Ferguson gutted it out until the round came to an end. Ferguson’s elbow was clearly compromised but he refused to tap out.
As the second round got underway, Oliveira was quick to kick at that damaged arm before bringing the fight back down to the ground. Oliveira controlled the action on the mat, although Ferguson avoided taking nearly as much damage.
Still, Oliveira was dominating in every facet of the fight as he continued to take Ferguson down at will while constantly setting up potential submissions including a near triangle choke from the bottom. While Ferguson managed to slip free, Oliveira remained on top until the fight came to an end as he announced his arrival to join the best lightweights in the sport.
If reigning champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is really retired, Oliveira already has his sights set on a marquee matchup to kick off 2021 with hopes of facing the winner with a vacant title on the line.
“When Conor [McGregor] and [Dustin] Poirier fight in January, I’m going to be watching,” Oliveira said. “I’m just going to be waiting to see who’s going to fight me.”