Octagon Oracles: Saimon Oliveira

James Colwell

Grade: C-

Olivera has a very impressive 18-3 record, with 11 of those wins coming by some variety of choke, including an insane 7 guillotines. However, those numbers are heavily padded by the relatively weak competition he faced in Brazil, as he never joined one of the country’s bigger organizations and instead bounced around various regional circuits dominating whoever was put in front of him. It’s also telling to me that his 3 losses have all come against some of his better opponents, including Ary Farias, who has world-class BJJ and was able to completely shut Olivera down when the two fought back in 2018.

I had not seen Olivera fight before his appearance on the 2021 Contender Series since he had been inactive for almost 2 years, and I was honestly quite surprised that he got signed after the performance he put on against short-notice opponent José Alday (14-5-1). While he threatened a few submissions and was generally in control on the ground, I didn’t really see flashes of anything special in Olivera’s attacks or grappling techniques, and he inflicted little enough damage that the fight went down as a split decision. It wasn’t the most action-packed conflict, and so I was very surprised when Dana While ultimately decided to bring him into the UFC to test his submission skills against higher-level talents.

Olivera faces a relatively tough first fight against Tony Gravely, who has the wrestling credentials to avoid too much danger on the ground and packs much more power into his strikes than the Brazilian. I see Gravely getting the win by 1st-round TKO, likely due to ground and pound, as I just don’t think Olivera has much to threaten him with unless he manages to pull one of his signature guillotines out of nowhere. Ultimately, most of his potential UFC matchups will be difficult unless he can manufacture a submission opportunity, and I don’t see him as someone with a long future with the organization.

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