Source: Portal do Vale-Tudo (Portuguese) Alex Cowboy has not even completed one year contract with the UFC and now is one of the protagonists of the event next Sunday in Pittsburgh, USA. In the main event, he faces fellow Cowboy Donald Cerrone into the category of welterweight. In the publication following, the PVT (Portal do Vale-Tudo) account some of the history of the fighter which complete 28 years on the day of the fight. Poor childhood Born and raised in the rural town of Três Rios, 135 km from the capital of Rio de Janeiro, and from a poor family, Alex Oliveira was always a maughty boy, however, worker. Fond of animals from an early age, he deceived their parents saying he was going to school while missing the school to care for animals, which earned him his first job. To feed them and bathe them, the young man received 5 reais (brazilian money) per fortnight. With the passage of time and the good work, he went on to win two reais per day. However, he did not pass the third grade of primary school. Broken dreams Before discovering his talent for fighting, Alex Cowboy tried to invest in two dreams: to be a footballer and a cowboy. (Supporting) Botafogo (Football team) since childhood, he had no success with the ball because of his physical strength. "I even tried, but it did not. I was so clumsy that I broke the leg of two companions. One of them kicked my leg and eventually leading to worse and the other received my shot and get himself injured. I chose to give up football (laughs). " At 15 years, the passion for riding on horses appeared. Even without propitious equipment, Alex Oliveira attended some rodeos and even mamaged to win some of them. However, due to lack of sponsorship, he had to leave his big dream. "I had no money to buy basic equipment, so I improvised: I wore a rope, a cowboy hat and a pair of gloves that I used to work in the barn," he recalls. Talent to fight almost cost him his life If today Alex Cowboy is famous for what he do inside the Octagon, its ease for fighting even at the time when he didn't train absolutely nothing, almost caused him to be killed. In bad companies, began using and selling drugs, and often fighting in the streets. As never led to worse, he was even threatened with death by some of his victims. The possibility of being killed made him reflect, as two of his brothers had been killed and his mother would suffer even more with the loss of another child. "I saw two of my brothers being killed and I know how much it did hurt to my mother. She was coming to an end, she began to constantly drink and it made me very sad too. That's when I decided to leave the bad company and started to work more, to dedicate myself to the family. I reflect and stopped with drugs: 'My God, I wasn't born using it.' " Last street fight changed his life A few years ago, Alex Cowboy saw his brother being beaten by numerous cowardly men in the carnival in his city. He did not think twice and fought against the attackers managing to overthrow almost everyone and thus defend his brother. "He was hit in the head by a stone, fell unconscious and began to be attacked. My instinct of self-protection got me mad and I fought the aggressors for fear that they kill my brother. " At this time, a professional fighter of his town that followed it from afar and was impressed with his ability made him an invitation to go to the gym and make money with his talent. "Dude, you've faced over ten guys at the same time, took punches, kicks, stones and continued going up like you're not feeling anything. You have a huge talent and can make money from it ", warned Benedict, inviting him to go to the gym. The uncertainty of the streets for success in the UFC By the time he joined the martial arts through the academy of André Tadeu, Alex Cowboy worked as a mason assistant, profession that sustained him, his three sons and his mother until his entry in the UFC in March 2015. But first, Cowboy was very tested either in the gym or in muay thai fights. After three knockouts in three fights, Cowboy, finally got his wish and switched to MMA, where he impressed on the national scene and managed to get himself in the biggest MMA event in the world. "For everything I've been through in my life, I can not complain about anything, I can only say I am very happy for everything that has been happening. I am very grateful to the UFC for believing in my work and continue to give me opportunities." thanks. PS: I tried my best but I'm not fluent and the translation must have some mistakes, sorry for that.