Charles "Do Bronx" Oliveira will attempt to improve his featherweight record to 3-0 at UFC 152 when he meets Cub Swanson in the opening bout of the PPV telecast.
And he will.
Do Bronx was 2-2 with one no-contest at lightweight. He looked to be a good prospect at that weight, but found himself outmatched against the bigger competitors. He remarked on that in a recent interview with Thomas Gerbasi on UFC.com:
“Sometimes at 155 pounds I was the smaller fighter, at 145 pounds I am more often the bigger fighter, and the taller fighter.”
Entering the UFC in 2010, his submission skills were quickly put on display. He quickly submitted Darren Elkins in 41 seconds in San Diego. His transition from the triangle to the armbar was quick and technically proficient.
Oliveira made his featherweight debut in January with a submission victory over Eric Wisely. The calf-slicer finish earned him the submission of the night. He followed that performance up with a submission win over Jonathan Brookins in June.
Against Swanson, he matches up well. Oliveira's ever-improving striking will receive a three-inch reach advantage against the Jackson's Submission Fighting member, but it is on the ground where his true advantage lies.
Swanson will have the wrestling advantage at the Air Canada Centre, but Oliveira will find a way to get the fight to the mat.
Oliveira is a submission specialist, and three of the five losses on Swanson's record come by way of tapping out. Most recently, Swanson submitted to Ricardo Lamas in November of 2011. Avoiding the submission is still problematic for the longtime featherweight contender.
Do Bronx will capitalize on the weakness at UFC 152.
This is an important fight. Not only for Oliveira, but for the featherweight division itself. The winner of the contest will be one of the top contenders alongside Chan Sung Jung and Frankie Edgar. A title shot will not be far off for the victor at UFC 152.
That fact will instill a sense of urgency in Oliveira. The 22-year-old will continue his quick ascent in the UFC.
The young Brazilian will be happy to play the striking game early on as long as he can utilize his reach, but should the opportunity arise he will look to take Swanson in to his world.
When it hits the mat it will only be a matter of time until Oliveira locks in a submission against Swanson. Oliveira excels at finishing fights on the ground. All four of his UFC victories have come via submission, and three of them have earned him submission of the night.
He will likely pick up another hefty check in the Air Canada Centre.
Stylistically, it is a bad matchup for the 28-year-old Swanson. His ground deficiencies will be highlighted by Do Bronx's grappling brilliance. Oliveira will make the submission win over Swanson look effortless.
Oliveira will finish Swanson in Toronto. The victory will establish Oliveira as one of the next contenders to Jose Aldo's featherweight crown.