In spite of the post-fight bonuses collection and star-studded resume, key losses and problems making weight have made Charles Oliveira’s mostly victorious UFC run an also inconsistent one.
But, looking to bounce back from a two-fight skid when he takes on former Bellator champ Will Brooks (18-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) on the main card of UFC 210, the 27-year-old Oliveira (21-7 MMA, 9-7 UFC) is mostly pleased with an octagon trajectory comprised of many “great fights against great names.”
Disagree? Then let Oliveira walk you through his recent history.
“I’ve always had tough opponents in there,” Oliveira told MMAjunkie. “I’ve always fought big names – that’s what I’ve always asked for and what they thankfully have always given me. Former champs, well-ranked guys in both the lightweight and featherweight divisions.
“Starting with Max Holloway, I think that fight will happen again some day. It wasn’t a punch or a kick that landed, it was a takedown attempt and an injury I already had.”
The UFC Fight Night 74 encounter ended with Holloway declared the winner via TKO due to injury. Oliveira continues on.
“Right after that I had a win, against Myles Jury (UFC on FOX 17) – a very tough guy who was coming down from the 170-pound division,” he said. “Thankfully, I was able to go in there and do my job very well. And right after that I got the former (lightweight) champ, Anthony Pettis.”
The loss to Pettis at UFC on FOX 21 ended up being the choke specialist’s first time being choked out. It wasn’t, however, the last as Oliveira went on to meet the same fate against Ricardo Lamas on short notice at UFC Fight Night 98, when the 27-year-old Brazilian fighter missed the featherweight limit by nine pounds.
The skid, however, doesn’t faze Oliveira, who thinks he was off to a good start in both occasions.
“Those who watched the fight (with Pettis) saw it was very even,” Oliveira said. “I traded blows, I did work on the ground, I ended up making a mistake at the end and exposing my neck. But those who saw the fight saw it was a back-and-forth. It could have gone either way in a decision. And unfortunately, after that, in my fight with Ricardo Lamas in Mexico, I took it on less than 20 days notice.
“Everyone knows there’s a lot of altitude there, and it ended up making it very hard to make the weight. I didn’t make weight, but we were doing a great fight. I think I was winning both rounds, but I ended up making the same mistake I did with Pettis, with my neck, and he ended up catching it.”
This time, Oliveira guarantees the weight won’t be an issue – which is helped not only by the fact he’s once again fighting at the upper division, but also that he actually had some time to prepare. Still, he’s not committed to hanging around the 170-pounders just yet.
“Right now, my plan is Will Brooks,” Oliveira said. “Beating him and getting my hand raised at the end. The future belongs to God. Then we’ll see what happens. Contract renewal, see if we’re going up or down. Right now, I’m focused on this fight. I really want to win this fight to show the fans and the UFC that I deserve to be in the best promotion in the world.”
Ranked No. 11 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA lightweight rankings, Brooks is coming off what was only the second loss in his MMA career – a TKO in the second round of a UFC Fight Night 96 catchweight bout against a much heavier Alex Oliveira.
On his end, Charles is aware of the challenge that he’s up against. But, then again, it’s not like he hasn’t faced any of those before.
“Will Brooks is a very tough guy,” Oliveira said. “He’s an ex-champ and beat very tough guys. The same way I fought very tough guys. We’re both coming off losses. I really want this win, as he does too. I’m sure it will be a great show and a great fight.
“I respect everyone, but nothing’s changed: I’m going to keep moving forward. I really want this win. He’s a tough guy, like the ones I’ve always looked to fight, and it’s show time.”
For more on UFC 210, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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