Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira made his UFC debut in March on short notice and was submitted by Gilbert Burns late in their UFC Fight Night 62 bout. He got the call before UFC Fight Night 67 to step in again on short notice against former EliteXC lightweight champion K.J. Noons and made the most of the opportunity.
Noons was originally slated to take on submission specialist Yan Cabral, but Cabral was forced out of the bout after contracting Dengue Fever.
Noons immediately took the center of the cage and pressed forward from the sound of the opening bell. He landed first with a right hand.
After taking a few hooks for the former professional boxer, Oliveira decided to get the fight to the ground. He tied Noons up and slammed him to the canvas. Noons powered his way back to his feet only to be elevated and slammed again. Noons would again get back to his feet, but Oliveira dragged him back to the mat.
Oliveira quickly applied a rear-naked choke. He slipped his arm under Noons’ chin and tightened it down, forcing Noons to tap out.
“I’m honored to come in last minute. I fought a guy who’s very tough. Everyone knows him. I’m a warrior. I come in there and fight,” said Oliveira following the submission win.
During his post-fight interview, “Cowboy” revealed that his game plan was to take Noons down.
“I knew that he was a striker and that I couldn’t strike with him. He was just going to toss me around, so I just took it to the ground. I knew that I could do this. We trained this, exactly what I did tonight,” he said.
It was Oliveira’s second career submission finish, and the short-notice performance impressed UFC president Dana White. White praised the Brazilian following the fight on Twitter.
You can always count on guys named COWBOY
— Dana White (@danawhite) May 31, 2015