Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira has decided to shed some light on the injury that forced him to withdraw from an important bout against Beneil Dariush at UFC 288. After receiving many questions on social media as to why ‘Do Bronx’ pulled out of a fight against a top 5 athlete that could put him back into title contention with a win, the Brazilian put at least somewhat of an end to the mystery.
Charles Oliveira expects a quick return
On his official Instagram page, Charles Oliveira shared the news in a series of stories. Though he did not go into any details on what his exact injury was, the reason for the fight delay rather simple: an injury suffered during wrestling practice. Fortunately, Charles Oliveira delivered the news on a positive note to his fans, claiming it was not serious and that he should be back sooner rather than later.
“I’ve suffered a minor injury, so we and the UFC guys decided to ask the UFC for more time because of that,” Charles Oliveira explained. “I couldn’t train. I got hurt during wrestling practice. I tried everything I could, but it didn’t work. So we decided to withdraw from the fight that was supposed to take place on May 6.”
“It was going to be so cool, because not only I would be fighting, but I would also be fighting alongside two teammates of mine, ‘Willycat’ [Daniel Santos] and Rolando [Bedoya]. God knows all things, though, so we’re going to stay focused and keep on working. I will have to stay put for a few days. Soon enough I will be able to train again and then we can reschedule our fight.”
“So that’s it,” he added. “We suffered an injury and decided to withdraw so we wouldn’t fight while injured. We made this mistake before and we didn’t want to do it again. I’m grateful for the love everyone’s been sending me and for the concern. We took a step back so that pretty soon we can take two or three forward. Thanks again, I love you all. Let’s go. I’m going to recover and I’ll be back in a little while.”
Oliveira and Dariush may fight at UFC 289
Although not yet confirmed, Dariush has gone on record saying that the fight may only have been delayed by a mere month. In an interview the Schmo, the Kings MMA fighter explained that the promotion was looking to rescheduled their match to UFC 289, on June 10.
“They said they want to push the fight to June 10,” Dariush told The Schmo (transcript via MMA Mania). “I still don’t have a contract so I’m not sure if it’s for sure, but that’s what they told me they want to do, June 10. At first, I wasn’t about it because what if this guy pulls out? But then I said a couple of things: if this guy pulls out again, I want the title shot. And basically [I asked for] a pay bump, too. They agreed to both things, and that was pretty much it. They agreed to both things, so if he pulls out I get the title shot. That’s what I was told.”
Oliveira looking to rebound from title loss
While he never actually dropped the belt in a fight, Charles Oliveira was stripped of the lightweight belt at the weigh-ins of UFC 274, when he failed to hit the 155-pound mark. Though Oliveira did defeat Justin Gaethje at the May 2022 event, he was not eligible to regain his belt after missing weight.
In his last outing, back in October, Charles Oliveira (33-9-1 NC) lost a battle for the vacant lightweight belt against Islam Makhachev via submission. The defeat snapped an 11-fight winning streak for the 33-year-old, who had scored wins over some of the most notable names in the division during that time, including Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier.
UFC 288 is still expected to take place on May 6, in Newark, New Jersey. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a bantamweight title fight between the champion, Aljamain Sterling and former UFC double title-holder Henry Cejudo. While nothing has been confirmed, Dana White has said that Gilbert Burns is on the shortlist to step in to the co-main event spot, possibly against Belal Muhammad
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