Alex Oliveira ready for UFC on ESPN 14 war after putting ‘family issues’ behind him

ABU DHABI – Alex Oliveira says his troublesome times are in the past going into his UFC on ESPN 14 matchup with Peter Sobotta.

Oliveira (20-8-1 MMA, 10-6 UFC) had a stretch to forget inside the octagon from late 2018 through 2019. “Cowboy” revealed some person problems carried over inside the octagon and led to three straight losses, but after kicking off the year with a split decision win over Max Griffin in March, he said he’s ready to get some momentum going in his welterweight matchup with Sobotta (17-6-1 MMA, 4-5 UFC) on Saturday.

“I was going through a rough phase in my career but it gave me the chance to get back on track,” Oliveira told reporters, including MMA Junkie, through an interpreter on Tuesday at UFC on ESPN 14 media day. “I had some family issues I was bringing into the octagon that wasn’t good for me. I’m ready for war now.”

Oliveira meets Sobotta on the main card of this weekend’s event, which airs on ESPN from Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It’s an interesting matchup, because Sobotta has been out of action since March 2018. Oliveira said it’s hard to know what to expect from his opponent after a 28-month layoff, but he’s prepared for all scenarios and will try to end the fight inside the distance as he always does.

“There’s not much to see from him (lately),” Oliveira said. “He could surprise me, but I’m going to do everything I can to take him down and finish the fight.”

Despite getting the win over Griffin at UFC 248 earlier this year, Oliveira still thinks he’s in desperate need of victory in his upcoming fight. Going 1-4 in his past five would not be a good look, but he said that doesn’t mean he’ll fight cautiously.

Oliveira’s style is to put himself in the running for a “Performance of the Night” or “Fight of the Night” bonus every time he steps in the octagon, and no matter what type of results he’s gotten in recent outings, said that won’t change.

“I need the win but the show walks hand-in-hand,” Oliveira said. “If I’m going in there I’m going to give a show.”

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