On Thursday, the UFC officially announced that a duel between “Cowboys” would serve as the new headliner for its Fight Night event in Pittsburgh on Feb. 21.
Sherdog.com recently spoke to the Brazilian “Cowboy,” Alex Oliveira, who did not hesitate to accept his third short-notice fight in his last four UFC outings. Oliveira replaces Tim Means, who was flagged by USADA for a potential anti-doping violation earlier this week and had to withdraw from the event.
According to Oliveira, the opportunity to fight Donald Cerrone is nearly as good as a title shot.
“It´s gonna be just like in those Wild West movies. There is room for only one Cowboy in that Octagon; on Feb. 21 we will decide who is the real Cowboy of the UFC,” Oliveira said. “The audience can expect a great show. I have no doubt that one Cowboy will be shot down before the fifth round, and I´ll do my best to be [the last one standing].”
Having already stepped in on short notice on three different occasions in previous bouts, Oliveira is not worried about the lack of time to get ready for his first five-round fight.
“I´m so happy to be able to do my first main event, mainly against a great fighter like Cerrone. I´m so anxious that I´m hoping that the days pass quickly, and we can step in the Octagon as soon as possible,” he said.
Oliveira isn’t planning much in the way of strategy, either.
“Since I just have two weeks to do this camp, my strategy will be clear: Hit him hard to knock him out,” he said.
Oliveira has won three straight fights since falling to Gilbert Burns in his Octagon debut in March 2015. He knows that the experience against Cerrone will prove valuable, not only because of the opponent, but because of the circumstances surrounding the bout.
“The good thing about a five-round fight is that I´m getting [ready for] a future title shot,” he said.
Leonardo Fabri contributed to this report