Charles Oliveira delivered a tremendous performance last night. But for the light weight champion the biggest criticism comes from a move he used in round 2. Let’s recap the fight briefly, in case you missed it. Round 1 had an insane pace. Both Poirier and Oliveira had tremendous output. Poirier appeared to be edging out Oliveira having delivered 56 significant strikes to the head. Oliveira, on the other hand, would mix it up. He would deliver strikes, front kicks and devastating knees interchangeably – but often getting hurt in exchanges.
In round 2, the fight would move to the ground. Poirier accepted the grappling exchange with Charles Do Bronx, even though he quickly found himself losing the top position and struggling to survive. But here Oliveira briefly utilized an illegal tactic.
In an attempt to use an omoplata sweep on Poirier Charles Oliveira hung onto his arm with everything he had in his power – and once it appeared that this wasn’t working he briefly held onto the inside of the MMA glove. This tactic is considered illegal and is a mildly serious foul in mma. Oliveira is not the first nor the last to utilize this technique. However what was surprising is that Poirier made no complaint to the referee regarding the tactic and used a common omoplata counter – a front roll. This counter played right into Do Bronx’s plan and much of this round was subsequently spent with Oliveira doing heavy elbow damage to the face of Poirier from his closed guard. Poirier was so focused on deterring Do Bronxes’ passing that he was willing to suffocate the action and take damage in process.
Damage accumulated in this sequence very likely contributed to the fail in judgement when dodging a strike in round 3 – which in turn led to Poirier getting submitted while standing on his feet.