UFC 289: Charles Oliveira gives rare English interview to call for title shot, Islam Makhachev responds

In the rarest of the rare occasions, former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira gave an interview in English after his UFC 289 win.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 4 months ago
UFC 289: Charles Oliveira gives rare English interview to call for title shot, Islam Makhachev responds
Charles Oliveira successfully weighs in for UFC 289. IMAGO | Zuma

After a disappointing setback last October that cost him the undisputed lightweight title, Charles Oliveira bounced back strong on Saturday night at UFC 289. ‘Do Bronx’ ended Beneil Dariush’s eight-fight win streak via first-round TKO, while setting a UFC record for most number of finishes at 20. 

As expected, the Brazilian called for another crack at the title. This time, he did so outside of his native tongue, a rare moment for the former champion. 

‘The champion has a name, and it’s Charles Oliveira’

With the impressive victory over Dariush through a vintage performance, Oliveira rightfully wants nothing else but another crack at the title. And during his Octagon interview with Daniel Cormier, he called for his shot. 

“I’m sorry, my English is little,” Oliveira said, much to the delight of the Vancouver crowd. “Thanks so much. I’ve been supported. 

“The champion has a name, and it’s Charles Oliveira.” 

Charles Oliveira showed his ‘120%’

Oliveira’s performance against current champion Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 was uncharacteristic of him, at least based on his prior fights. As he said through his translator, he wasn’t able to show his full capabilities at the time. But against Dariush, he felt a sense of rejuvenation. 

“I don’t need to send a message. Last time, you saw ten percent of me. Now, you saw 120% of me. The champion has a name, and it’s Charles Oliveira. And you know what? Dana, I’m the next one (for the title).” 

UFC 280 took place in Abu Dhabi, which Dagestani fighters like Makhachev deem to be a home away from home because of the large Muslim presence. But Oliveira doesn’t mind traveling to Russia to make the fight happen, if needed. 

“You want me to fight him in his house? I’ll go. I’m ready. Let’s do it. 

“I’ve always said this: the hand is heavy and is ready. I don’t care what people say. I’m only worried about what I’m gonna do, and that’s what I’m gonna keep doing.” 

During the post-fight press conference, Oliveira stated how he started learning English to connect to his fans better.

Islam Makhachev responds to Charles Oliveira

Reigning champion Islam Makhachev was an interested spectator for UFC 289’s co-main event. He did congratulate his former challenger, while also sending a reminder. 

Makhachev last saw action at UFC 284 in February, when he put the title on the line against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. He won the fight via a controversial unanimous decision.

Charles Oliveira’s record

Before the loss to Makhachev, Charles Oliveira was on a tear. At the time, he was on an 11-fight win streak including victories over former interim champions title contenders Justin Gaethje, Tony Ferguson and Dustin Poirier, as well as former Bellator titleholder Michael Chandler. 

Eight of those 11 victories alone earned Oliveira post-fight bonuses and UFC 289 is no different, as he bagged an extra $50K for Performance of the Night. He also holds the most number of submission wins in the UFC with 16. 

Oliveira’s current record stands at 34-9, with 1 NC.

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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