After slew of injuries, UFC 162's Rafaello Oliveira ready to show what he can do


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

rafaello-oliveira-5.jpgIt’s been a year since Rafaello Oliveira appeared in the UFC. His most recent fight wasn’t a loss, so he wasn’t cut and then asked to return for a fight with Edson Barboza tonight at UFC 162. 

He is, however, stepping in to replace John Makdessi in a fight most believe he will lose. 

Oliveira has gotten the axe once before in his time with the UFC, but fought his way back. This time, he aims to pull off a big upset.  

Unfortunately, the Brazilian’s hands repeatedly have held back his career. The problems started two years ago, when he broke his right hand in a losing effort against Yves Edwards at UFC on Versus 6. 

He was supposed to fight Reza Madadi next, but re-injured his hand in training. Then he fought Yoislandy Izquierdo despite the same problem. Then he broke his hand two weeks prior to fighting “The Ultimate Fighter 15? winner Michael Chiesa, and that fight was scratched. 

An outsider might say Oliveira (15-5 MMA, 2-4 UFC) needs to reconsider his punching technique, get surgery, or take up soccer, but he is proceeding as if the setbacks are temporary distractions from his goal. 

“I considered surgery, but it wasn’t necessary,” he told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “I’m fully healed, thankfully. Now I’m 100 percent.”

Whether you believe that to be true or not, it’s hard to disagree with Oliveira when he says he doesn’t feel he’s shown his best inside the octagon. Looking at his record, he’s 1-2 in his first UFC stint and probably saved another cut by beating Izquierdo after two losses. 

But he’s come close to calling it quits, and he’s decided he can’t give up on his dream. 

“I’ve been training hard,” Oliveira said. “I now live a full-time fighter’s lifestyle. I expect to give my best. People know my potential. I fight for my family and for myself.”

Fighting an opponent like Barboza (11-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC), who once was nominated for an ESPY Award for his wheel-kick KO of Terry Etim, brings questions of what could happen if he picks up a win in the FX-televised preliminary-card bout at MGM’s Grand Garden Arena. 

But while Oliveira might be overly optimistic about his brittle hands, he’s a realist about his standing in the UFC. 

“In reality, I don’t think about the belt,” he said. “I know I’m near the bottom of my weight class. I know my worth, and I know I haven’t displayed it yet. When I show my worth, people will take notice. I’ll be giving my best.”

So, what’s been missing? According to the lightweight, it’s all in the team around him. When he first moved to the U.S. to begin training, he moved alone and spent nine months away from his wife and two children. He would have returned home were it not for his wife’s support. 

Then, he finally found a school in Knoxville, Tenn., where he could teach martial arts and obtain a work visa, which allowed him to move his family to America. 

“Anywhere you go, you should find a place where your skills are valued,” he said. “I have no regrets. This is good for me and my family. Of course, I miss my people, my relatives back home. But I have my family here. And I’ve been welcomed and treated very well by my friends in Knoxville. They’re very positive people. I’m quite happy.”

For Barboza, he’s taken steps to up his sparring time, which he feels will pay dividends against one of the division’s best strikers. He went north to AMA Fight Club, where he logged plenty of hours with UFC lightweight Jim Miller

Oliveira remains a 4-to-1 underdog, so he has yet to convince the world that he’s turned things around. But he’s under no illusions that anyone will put their confidence in him. That is, until he gives them reason to. 

“I’m not stupid; I know I am the underdog,” he said. “And I’ve been the underdog before, too. I feel fine. There’s a good reason he’s the favorite. He has more victories than I do. He’s more highly regarded. This sort of thing just makes me hungrier to show everyone what I’m capable of, and prove the doubters wrong. I already knew I’d be the underdog. No problem.”

For the latest on UFC 162, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 28 days ago
  • 37 views

A chance pizza delivery led Rob Font to MMA. Now he’s ready to make a name for himself against George Roop at UFC 175. Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 25 days ago
  • 44 views

Cat Zingano is cleared and ready to fight, even if it means a short-notice headliner at next month’s UFC 176 event.Filed under: MMA Rumors, News, UFC more

  • 21 days ago
  • 50 views

After a false start, Johnny Case is ready to begin his UFC career.
Case will meet fellow lightweight Kazuki Tokudome at UFC Fight Night 52 on Sept. 20 at the Saitma Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Just days after Case agreed to fight Joe Ellenberger at UFC Fight Night 44 in June, he failed a pre-fight eye test and was pulled from the fight. The UFC then paid for him to have LASIK eye surgery and he is now good to go.
A member of Alliance MMA i more

  • 17 days ago
  • 59 views

The MMA legend says "everything was cleared" following his appearance before the Nevada State Athletic Commission about an incident in which he fled from a random drug test.
Before Chael Sonnen had to pull out of UFC 175, his initial opponent Wanderlei Silva was pulled from the card for fleeing from a NSAC surprise drug test. UFC president Dana White told the media he expected Silva to be "in big trouble" with the commission.
Silva has since attended a hearing before the commission and he told B more

  • 14 days ago
  • 17 views

Aljamain Sterling continues to improve each time he sets foot inside the Octagon. more

  • 11 days ago
  • 152 views

A star in the making.
After almost a full year away battling injuries, Conor McGregor made his return to the cage today (Sat., July 19, 2014) in front of his people at The O2 in Dublin, Ireland, in a main event match-up opposite Brazilian banger Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night 46.
They both talked a lot of trash leading up to the contest, though most of that was McGregor egging on his opponent and Brandao playing right in to it. Finally, the time came to stop talking and start fighting.
They di more

  • 11 days ago
  • 25 views

DUBLIN -- Ilir Latifi talks about his first-round finish of Chris Dempsey at UFC Fight Night 46, moving past his loss to Gegard Mousasi, his desire to fight a top 10 fighter, the sport of hurling, and more. more

  • 11 days ago
  • 2 views

UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson has reigned supreme as the best 125-pound fighter in the world, and over the past two years he has dispatched the entire divisional Top Five.
He’s looked dominant against his contemporaries and is set to defend his belt against the No. 8-ranked Chris Cariaso in a head-scratcher of a fight at UFC 177 on August 30. If fighters like Joseph Benavidez, Ian McCall and John Moraga can’t find a chink in the armor of Mighty Mouse, his next challeng more

  • 10 days ago
  • 50 views

After a rough year filled with injuries, Ian McCall had a lot to fight for against Brad Pickett at yesterday's (Sat, July 19, 2014) UFC Fight Night 46 from Dublin, Ireland. "Uncle Creepy" proved he's still near the top of the flyweight heap with a decisive performance. Find out how in our fight breakdown below!
Yesterday (Sat., July 19, 2014) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweights Ian McCall and Brad Pickett squared off on the Fight Pass main card of UFC Fight Night 46 from O2 Arena in more