Featherweights Charles Oliveira and Hatsu Hioki lived up to the ‘potential Fight of the Night’ hype with a fantastic main card bout in New Zealand. With the fight largely contested on the ground, both fighters showed their great technique in some great exchanges. Ultimately, it was the Brazilian that ended up on the winning end, getting a submission in the second round.
There were a lot of exchanges where Hioki had the better of Oliveira, and it looked to be going in the Japanese former contender’s favour. However, Oliveira was able to wrap up a tight submission towards the end of the second, and sealed the deal in impressive fashion. Hioki got multiple takedowns and almost had a rear naked choke, and will feel hard done by that he was unable to get a W on his record.
The loss takes Hioki to 3-4 inside the Octagon, with four losses in his last five. After such a fun fight, it would be unusual for the UFC to cut the Japanese fighter, especially with the promotion hosting a card there later this year. Oliveira, meanwhile, is now 3-2 since dropping to featherweight, and has won his last two.
Here is how the fight went down.
Really like this featherweight contest, and both fighters are desperate for a win if they want to stay relevant. Crazy that Oliveira is just 24. The ground exchanges should be very fun.
Round 1 – Hioki avoids the knee, but Oliveira able to get the takedown. Hioki right back up but Oliveira still has the clinch. Wow Hioki went for a flying triangle, but lets it go. Oliveira now going for a standing guillotine. He lets it go. Watch out for Hioki’s judo throws. Wow it was Oliveira who got the judo throw. Hioki straight back up, and works his way on top in that exchange. He has the back now. One hook in. Now both. Hioki in a good position now, and he’s landing some nice shots from this position. Oliveira removes one of the hooks and gets back up, getting Hioki against the cage and landing a nice elbow. Good stuff by the Brazilian. Knee from ‘Do Bronx’. He’s talking to his corner. Hioki with the trip straight into half guard, but Oliveira regains guard and has the butterflies. Half guard again. But guard regained again. Hioki is postured, but Oliveira working from his back and trying to get some ground and pound in. He works his way up and gets the clinch off the bat, landing a knee to the body. Hioki turns him around and has Oliveira against the cage, landing body shots in this position. Oliveira lands a knee to the body and momentarily tries for the neck. Takedown for the Brazilian. But Hioki still up against the cage sitting up. Oliveira working on the d’arce. He reverses Hioki and is on top. But Hioki gets out. Knee to the body from Oliveira, that was nasty. What a round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Oliveira.
Round 2 – Oliveira winging his punches, but none landing too cleanly. He does clean the distance however, and gets Hioki to the mat momentarily. Hioki has him against the cage in the clinch, and gets a nice outside trip into half guard. It’s wide open, but Oliveira sweeps Hioki and is now working on a leg. Hioki just smiling and works his way up. Oliveira gets poked in the eye accidentally in the exchange, and there’s a halt in the action. Oliveira looks badly hurt, he’s wincing and drops to his knees. It seems as though he can’t open it. Oliveira trying to gut it out. They resume. Oliveira lands a right, then a knee and gets the clinch. Another knee. They’re picking up the pace. Hioki counters the takedown and lands up on top. Oliveira’s eye is bothering him. Oliveira has guard though. Hioki postured up trying to land ground and pound, but Oliveira working on a triangle from this position. These exchanges are a lot of fun. Oliveira looking for something from the bottom but to no avail. Oliveira works his way up and Hioki tries to take him back down, the Brazilian countering with an unsuccessful guillotine and Hioki now has side control. Oliveira looks demoralised now. Mount now! The back for Hioki. Hooks in. 1 minute remains in the second. Hioki might have the neck. But no, Oliveira circles away. He slips Hioki off and somehow ends up on top. Wow, Oliveira working on a necktie, and he has it! Hioki taps! Wow, that was beautiful!
Result: Oliveira via submission (modified guillotine choke) at 4:32 in second round.
That is the first time Hioki has been submitted, and what a way he did it. Oliveira with a submission of the year candidate.
Here are the results for the card thus far. The full play-by-play coverage can be checked out on Cage Pages here.
Charles Oliveira def. Hatsu Hioki via submission (modified guillotine choke) at 4:32 in second round.
Robert Whittaker def. Mike Rhodes via unanimous decision (30-27 x3).
Jake Matthews def. Dashon Johnson via submission (triangle choke) at 3:16 in third round.
Richie Vaculik def. Roldan Sangcha-an via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2).
Vik Grujic def. Chris Indich via TKO (punches) at 4:55 in third round.
Neil Magny def. Rodrigo de Lima via TKO (punches) at 2:32 in second round.
Dan Hooker def. Ian Entwistle via TKO (elbows) at 3:34 in first round.
Gian Villante def. Sean O’Connell via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29).