From the gritty favelas of Brazil to the pinnacle of the UFC lightweight division, Charles Oliveira’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable. However, his title reign encountered a major roadblock when he faced off against Islam Makhachev in October 2022. Nicknamed “Do Bronx,” Oliveira was particularly fired up leading up to that fight. As UFC 294 draws near, he’s making a firm promise not to repeat the same mistake.
“That’s the only fight where I engaged in trash talk—my match against Islam,” Oliveira revealed in the latest episode of MMA Hook’s Trocação Franca podcast. “I messed up. But I won’t make that mistake again. Life only grants us a single chance to err. When you make a blunder once, you can’t afford to do it again, or else you’ll spiral endlessly. I won’t let that happen.”
Reflecting on his performance, Oliveira acknowledged that in that particular bout, he wasn’t able to showcase even a fraction of his capabilities. While he isn’t seeking to provoke or criticize, he asserted that only those truly knowledgeable about combat could comprehend his standpoint. Looking back on all his previous fights, it was only against Islam that he deviated slightly from his usual demeanor. He’s resolute in his decision not to repeat that approach.
Oliveira’s upcoming rematch against Makhachev is set to take place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, the same venue as their initial clash. Almost a year has passed since Oliveira’s second-round submission loss to the skillful Russian.
With renewed determination, Oliveira is planning to arrive in Abu Dhabi well ahead of time to acclimate to the surroundings. His confidence is unwavering; he’s certain that he’ll deliver a performance that will not only suffice to regain the title but will also etch his name in the annals of history.
“We’re striving to make history,” Oliveira declared. “Islam is undeniably formidable and deserves immense respect for his remarkable growth. Nevertheless, I have a dream. I yearn to be crowned champion once more. I want to persist in making history, demonstrating to the kids from the favelas that if you hold unwavering belief in your aspirations, victory is attainable. We’re here to shatter records.”
Oliveira’s aspirations transcend his professional achievements. “Deep down, all I want is happiness,” he confessed. “I just want to step into that arena and fight, you know? To perform as I always have in my fights. If I manage to maintain my usual level of performance, the fight will undoubtedly unfold differently. ‘Are you thirsty? Are you hungry?’ You bet I am, I’m ready for this challenge. I was born prepared—to make history. Yet, the most crucial thing now is to remain content and focused. We have ample time leading up to the fight, and my priority is being surrounded by those who genuinely care about me, the ones who will propel me toward triumph.”
Before facing Makhachev the first time, Oliveira had been riding high on an 11-fight winning streak, with an impressive 10 finishes to his name. Following his title setback, he bounced back with a first-round knockout victory over Beneil Dariush. He admitted that his initial claim that he wasn’t ready for an October rematch was a calculated move to have the bout rescheduled for the November event in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“When he initially stated he was ready and willing to fight here in Brazil, I saw through it,” Oliveira remarked. “They were never interested in having the fight here, and that has been reaffirmed.”
Many have speculated about Oliveira’s mental readiness for the fight and victory in Abu Dhabi. Addressing the skepticism, he stated, “Numerous people assert that I need to bolster my mental fortitude to succeed in Abu Dhabi. Many believe I’m ill-equipped for this challenge. Recently, I was on the road and watched a video featuring Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, and ‘Benny,’ all confidently stating they would defeat me in our past encounters. Yet, the outcomes speak for themselves. There’s no use in boasting about what you’ll do. Let it all unfold naturally. Come October 21, I want to be authentically myself, calm and surrounded by those who genuinely cherish me.”
Should UFC 294 align with Oliveira’s aspirations, he has his sights set on repeating history at UFC Sao Paulo. His vision entails him walking into the Ginásio do Ibirapuera with the lightweight belt draped across his shoulder, a visual reminiscent of the hero’s welcome bestowed upon Anderson Silva in UFC 179 back in 2014, when Silva was making his triumphant return after recovering from a leg injury inflicted by Chris Weidman.
“I could be the guest fighter, and returning with the belt would be monumental,” Oliveira envisioned. “A few years ago, I was in Rio de Janeiro when the lights suddenly dimmed, and Anderson Silva entered to his music—and that moment moved me to tears. I recollect thinking, ‘One day, that will be me. Hopefully, my name will be just as renowned as his, and I’ll experience that too.’
“I believe that God only burdens us with weights we can bear, and I’m convinced that God is guiding me to Abu Dhabi because he has a unique plan for me. The same month, the same date, returning there on my birthday once again. I’m committed to working harder than ever to bring this dream to fruition. We’ll rewrite history; I’ll become champion, if it aligns with the will of the Lord Jesus. And then, why not? Let’s throw a grand celebration on November 4 in Brazil?”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC Rematch
Who is Charles Oliveira?
Charles Oliveira, also known as “Do Bronx,” is a Brazilian UFC fighter who rose from the favelas to become a superstar and claim the UFC lightweight championship in 2021.
What happened in Charles Oliveira’s rematch with Islam Makhachev?
Charles Oliveira faced Islam Makhachev in a rematch after suffering a second-round submission loss in their initial bout. He has pledged to avoid trash talk this time and focus on his performance.
What is Oliveira’s attitude towards his past trash talk?
Oliveira admitted that he regrets trash talking before his fight with Islam Makhachev. He has recognized the mistake and vowed not to repeat it in the future.
Where and when will the rematch take place?
The rematch is set to take place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, almost a year after their first clash.
How is Oliveira preparing for the rematch?
Oliveira plans to arrive in Abu Dhabi early to acclimate himself to the environment. He is confident that his performance will be strong enough to reclaim the title.
What is Oliveira’s motivation?
Oliveira’s motivation extends beyond the title; he wants to inspire others by demonstrating that unwavering belief in one’s dreams can lead to success.
How did Oliveira address skepticism about his mental readiness?
Oliveira responded to skepticism from opponents by expressing his determination to be authentic and calm during the fight. He emphasized letting the outcomes speak for themselves.
What are Oliveira’s hopes for the future?
If he wins UFC 294, Oliveira envisions repeating history at UFC Sao Paulo by returning with the lightweight belt draped over his shoulder, similar to Anderson Silva’s iconic moment.
What is Oliveira’s view on his upcoming journey?
Oliveira believes that God only gives burdens one can carry. He is determined to work hard and embrace the unique path that lies ahead, including spending his birthday in Abu Dhabi once again.
Is there a post-fight celebration planned?
Yes, if UFC 294 goes well, Oliveira envisions a grand celebration on November 4 in Brazil to commemorate his victory.