UFC Vegas 87: Vinicius Oliveira makes case for KO of the Year with stunning flying knee

Life comes at you fast.

During final face-offs for UFC Vegas 87, Bernardo Sopaj made his opponent Vinicius Oliveira a promise. "Tomorrow I will knock you the f*** out. I will make you sleep, COLD. Remember this," he said. Less than 24 hours later, he found himself on the other end of what might have been the Knockout of the Year.

Brazil's Oliveira secured the win in his bantamweight bout against Sopaj of Albania at UFC APEX in Las Vegas on Saturday with a brutal flying knee.

Oliveira went for the highlight shot with just 19 seconds remaining, capitalizing on a moment that saw Sopaj stumble away and turn his back in reaction to a leg kick and hook combination.

Sopaj went limp immediately, as you can see in this clip from ESPN:

Oliveira needed the second half of the clash to play out exactly how it did, because he was getting absolutely bested by Sopaj early. Oliveira turned it around four minutes and 41 seconds into the third round, closing the deal with the flying knee that went straight to his opponent's jaw.

Sopaj (11-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) was helped out of the octagon by his team when he eventually came to. It didn't take long for Oliveira to make his case for a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus during his interview with Daniel Cormier.

The 29-year-old seems likely to receive the reward, considering that he delivered a classic in his debut after a victory on Dana White's Contender Series last year. Oliveira (20-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is now on a three-fight winning streak overall.

He was initially slated to clash with Yanis Ghemmouri, who pulled out of Saturday's event due to an injury. Sopaj stepped in at the last minute. While he entered the fight as an exciting prospect, Oliveira's unforgettable knockout could potentially change the trajectory of his career.

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