After being defeated in the UFC debut against Nik Lentz, the Brazilian Rafaello “Trator” Oliveira faced the fight against John Gunderson at UFC 108 on January 2nd as a matter of life or death. To guarantee that he could stay in the organization, triumph was likely essential. And that’s what the fighter got.
“Certainly I fought under pressure, but I did my homework and got the victory. At the debut, I let the final result get away at the last round because I was trying to put on a show for the fans and, unfortunately, the result was negative. But at least UFC liked the performance,” he said on Ultimate’s site.
According to Rafaello, preparation for the UFC 108 made the difference. During training, the Jiu-Jitsu black belt counted on Martin Rooney’s technical support in physical training, the renowned columnist from GRACIEMAG Magazine, who in December reached the mark of 100 articles published in the magazine.
“This time I didn’t get sick or hurt myself during training. I trained physical preparation with Martin Rooney and had much consistency during this phase, since during the previous fight I had gotten up to three different physical trainers,” he explains.
During the fight, Trator used the gentle art and got near finalization, with a nice armbar. But Gunderson was saved by the gong.
“He’s thick-skinned, has 28 fights as a professional, 14 as an amateur, and 18 as an amateur boxer. So the strategy was to take him down and end it, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to. I think I could have punished him more, but I was thinking of the bonus for ending the night,” he ends laughing.