The UFC lightweight champion has one of the division’s heaviest hitters ahead of him for his next title defense. But, by the sound of things, it seems he’s not feeling any pressure to take the fight to the ground. Paired up against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274, Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt Charles Oliveira says he’s ready to see who has the most dangerous hands in the Octagon.
In an interview with Ag Fight, ‘Do Bronx’ made it clear that, whatever the matchup, he will always walk forward—and that he has no plans to shy away from trading shots against the ‘Highlight’. In fact, Oliveira says he is not even concerned about taking Justin down. Instead, the Brazilian is preparing for a stand-up war against the former interim champion.
“To be honest, there’s not much to say. Jorge Patino (Oliveira’s coach) always says: ‘We come up with a gameplan, but Charles just walks forward’. I only walk forward. It doesn’t matter if I’m delivering or taking damage. I’m always walking forward. So we’re going to clash in some kind of way. Everyone says I should take it to the ground, that I should be concerned. I’m not concerned about taking it to the ground, I’m really not. I believe in my power. I have power in my hands. I’ve been showing that, I’m evolving.”
“It’s going to be a war. He’s going to walk forward and so am I.” Charles said. “We’ll see who has power. People say ‘You should take him down’. That’s cool. I know I have to because that’s what I do best, but I’m not concerned about that. I’m not just training to take him down or defend takedowns. I’m training MMA. When I say we’re going to clash, it’s because we are. I told Diego Lima (his coach). Brace yourself, because the first round will be a war. I’m going to trade shots with that guy. People might call me stupid, but I’m not being stupid. I’m acting like an MMA fighter. He walks forward and so do I. We’ll see who has the heavier hands. Who can take a shot and get back up.”
Currently on a ten-fight win streak, Oliveira (32-8-1 NC) scored a submission win over Dustin Poirier back in December 2021. During his streak, Do Bronx picked up wins over some notable names in the division, such as Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler and Jim Miller, among others. The 32-year-old’s last loss came in December 2017, when he got knocked out by Paul Felder.
Oliveira vs. Gaethje is expected to headline UFC 274 on May 7, in Phoenix, Arizona. Alongside the lightweight title fight, a top contender’s bout between Michael Chandler and Tony Ferguson has also been booked for the event.
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