Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira is facing an extended spell on the sidelines after his brutal loss at the hands -- and elbow -- of Icelandic grappling ace Gunnar Nelson on the main card of UFC 231 this past Saturday.
Oliveira (19-6-1, 2 N/C) came into the fight against Nelson riding a two-fight win streak with victories over Carlos Condit and Carlo Pedersoli Jr. Nelson, on the other hand, was returning to action after an extended period on the sidelines recovering from a knee injury which had kept him out of action since his knockout loss in July 2017 to Santiago Ponzinibbio.
On Saturday night, the grappling skills of Nelson proved too much for the Brazilian, who was taken down before being mounted midway through the second round. As Nelson was in mount, he delivered a devastating slashing elbow which opened a cut on the Brazilian causing blood to start gushing out. Oliveira turned his back, Nelson locked in a rear-naked choke and Oliveira immediately tapped, as much from alarm at the gushing cut as from the choke.
Oliveira’s coach Andre Tadeu told MMA Fighting that his fighter required 29 stitches as a result of the elbow and has been medically suspended from competition for 180 days.