Last Saturday, in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 96, Brazil’s Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira scored a third-round TKO win over former Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks. Under normal circumstances, this would have been far and away the biggest win of the Brazilian’s career. Unfortunately, the win was steeped in controversy.
The first problem was that Oliveira missed the lightweight division’s cap by a whopping 5.5 pounds – which unsurprisingly, garnered some trash talk from the ever to-the-point Brooks. Then, to literally add insult to injury, Oliveira followed his upset win by bombarding the dazed Brooks with a series of taunts, including an unsavory “crotch chop.” Needless to say, this did little to repair his already damaged relationship with Brooks.
Under normal circumstances, of course, Oliveira and Brooks could now just go their separate ways, shooting each other cold glares when they wind up in the same room, but generally steering clear of each other. Unfortunately, they’re likely to cross paths fairly regularly from here on out, as both train at American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida.
Brooks, of course, is the more regular and longer-serving American Top Team fighter. Oliveira, however, has been training there, off-and-on, since summer of 2015, establishing himself as a regular face in the gym as well. And while you might expect this to change, given the way their fight ended, Oliveira recently told MMAFighting.com that he has no plans to stop training at the Florida gym.
“I’ll still train at ATT. I won’t think twice about it,” Oliveira said. “If he tries something there, things will get ugly. I always train there, and that won’t change because of the things he did this week. That’s between us. We’re two men, and if he started it, he has to deal with it. I’m a cool guy, I won’t do anything if he doesn’t. I don’t like this, but he crossed the line.”
Oliveira also reaffirmed that he has no plans to apologize to Brooks, saying that Brooks started the whole ordeal by insulting him at the weigh ins.
“I don’t care what people say or don’t say, he started it after the weigh-in by calling me names, my manager and my coaches,” Oliveira continued. “He crossed the line, he didn’t need that. After the fight, I exaggerated, I crossed the line, and I apologize to everyone, but I will never apologize to him. I don’t regret what I did to him.”
While this isn’t the first time former opponents have shared a gym space, it’s certainly bound to get a little awkward.
What did you think of Oliveira’s post-fight actions? Sound off, PENN nation!