Charles Oliveira: Werdum should have been ‘careful’ about cheering at UFC 289

Former UFC heavyweight champion did not cheer for fellow Brazilian Charles Oliveira at UFC 289.

By: Lucas Rezende | 4 months ago
Charles Oliveira: Werdum should have been ‘careful’ about cheering at UFC 289
IMAGO/ZUMA WIRE: Charles Oliveira disagrees with Fabricio Werdum.

Hello, all! It is Thursday once again, which means it’s time for another edition of the Brazil Beat. You know, the weekly roundup of all Brazilian fighiting news all conveniently put together and delivered by yours truly.

This week, we’ve got a little case of different points of view between former UFC champions Fabricio Werdum and Charles Oliveira. We’ve also got MMA legend Pedro Rizzo assessing the career of Bellator’s Patricio Freire as the ‘Pitbull’ gets ready to fight for the bantamweight belt at Bellator 297.

That’s not even half of what we’ve got for this week, though. So let’s dive right in.

Fabricio Werdum did not cheer for Charles Oliveira at UFC 289

Former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum was not on Charles Oliveira’s side at UFC 289. Having been a member of Rafael Cordeiro’s team Kings MMA for over a decade, it may come as no surprise that ‘Vai Cavalo’ was cheering for his teammate Beneil Dariush last Saturday night in Vancouver, Canada.

However, the news were not very well received by the Brazilian fighting community, who is very passionate about supporting their countrymen. Though Werdum completely understands the tradition, he simply could not go against his longtime friend.

“People wanted me to cheer for Charles just because he’s Brazilian.” Fabricio Werdum told Tatame. If he was fighting someone else, of course I’d be cheering for him. I follow him, I think he’s a great role model. But there’s no way I’ll root for him if he’s fighting a friend I’ve had for 15 years, who is also on my team.”

“I would be going against my friend and my team just because Charles happens to be Brazilian. That’s crap. Had it been the other way around, Charles wouldn’t be cheering for a Brazilian just because they’re Brazilian, too. People are ignorant. Of course it wasn’t a lot of people, but they speak without thinking. I have to respect it, though.”

Once Charles Oliveira himself heard about the news, he took the opportunity to address the situation in an interview on YouTube channel Laerte Viana na Area. Though ‘Do Bronx’ claims to understand the reason why Werdum did not support him at UFC 289, the former lightweight champion suggested that maybe Vai Cavalo should have stayed neutral in public, in order not to receive hate from fans online.

“When you’re a public person, you have to be careful about what you say. Sometimes it’s just easier to stay neutral than to say some things. Werdum brought up a subject that he didn’t have to. I get it, though. He trained with Dariush for many years.”

“The way you say something carries some weight. When you talk about a Brazilian, the other Brazilians won’t take kindly. They’ll come after you. I prefer to stay neutral than to say some things. I would never cheer against a Brazilian. To each their own, I’m not criticizing. I think that what Werdum said was unfortunate, about a guy that people love. The whole world has embraced me. When you speak about Charles, you have to be very careful, because people on the other side are just waiting to get you.”

Pedro Rizzo is confident Patricio Freire will become a triple champ

Moving on from the disagreement between former UFC champions, but staying on the subject of titles, we’ve got a Brazilian trying to make history at Bellator 297. Patricio Freire could become the first athlete in the promotion to win belts in three different divisions if he gets past bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis next Friday.

In an interview with Combate, heavyweight MMA legend Pedro Rizzo feels confident the Pitbull can pull it off. In fact, the veteran puts all the pressure on Sergio Pettis, since the champion is the one who will have handle Freire’s motivation, discipline and skillset when they meet in the cage.

“Patricio is ready. Who’s going to doubt him? He won it all, lost, won again. He’s taken everything. He’s like Charles Oliveira in the UFC. He’s been through it all. What can Pettis do that Patricio has never seen before? I don’t know Patricio personally, but I hear everyone say that he’s very professional, which is very good. I was around Jose Aldo when he dropped from featherweight to bantamweight. It’s a life change, not just a diet change. You’re going to be 10 pounds lighter than before.”

“For an athlete as disciplined as Patricio, I think he won’t have problems. He’s trying to break a record, conquer the impossible, which is three belts. Nobody has ever done this in this sport. I think it’s worth the effort. This is a problem for Sergio Pettis, now. He’ll have to handle Patricio coming at him to break all the records.”

A retired soccer player vs. a magician in boxing, why not?

Let’s take a break from serious professional competitors and take a look at what’s going on in the fighting world’s hottest trend at the moment: celebrity boxing.

In a country that has seen comedians, League of Legends players and even movie stars stunt doubles getting a chance to test themselves in the ring, it may not surprise anyone now that a retired soccer player is calling out a YouTuber who’s become famous for magic tricks and hypnosis routines on the website.

Such is the case of 51-year-old player Marcelinho Carioca, who was a 90’s idol of Corinthians, one of Brazil’s most popular soccer clubs. In a video posted online, the former athlete called out Pyong Lee, a 30-year-old YouTuber who became known across the country for his tenure on the 20th season of Big Brother Brazil.

In the video, Marcelinho Carioca called out Lee and claimed he was ready to take him even though he’s not a fighter.

“Pyong, aren’t you looking for a fighter, bro? I’m here to call you out. I’m not a professional fighter, but I’m not afraid. I come to fight.”

We know that Lee accepts the callout, Fight Music Show will be all over this matchup and will probably put the pair on the same card as Vin Diesel’s stunt double and the six-time League of Legends champion in August.

A 20-year-old is facing an 8-time Russian sambo champ at PFL 5

All right, enough silliness. We’re getting back on track to talk about this Friday’s PFL 5, which features a bunch of fights involving Brazilians. One of them, in fact, is a 20-year-old who’s trying to secure her spot in the playoffs of the women’s featherweight tournament.

Yes, after scoring three points with a unanimous decision in her last outing, Evelyn Martins now wants to be more impressive when she takes on Marina Mokhnatkina, an eight-time Russian sambo champion who’s 15 years older than the Brazilian.

Her opponent’s background does not scare Martins, though. In an interview with Combate, the 20-year-old acknoweledged that Mokhnatkina’s grappling is good, but the Brazilian will not let that stop her from following her gameplan.

“I don’t think she’s ever faced anyone like me. She has a good grappling game, good takedowns, but she can’t underestimate my jiu-jitsu. I can pull off a submission at any time. I have great chances of becoming the first champion of this division. I’m letting everyone know that I’m here, ever since my first fights. They have to know I’m a 20-year-old problem in their way.”

If Ferreira is the ‘Problem’, Scheffel is the solution

In same night as Martins, we’ve got a clash of Brazilian heavyweights at PFL 5. While both Matheus Scheffel and Renan Ferreira are looking for a spot in the playoffs, the former is ready to show why he made it to the finals last year.

Paired up against a knockout artisti in Ferreira, Scheffel wants to put on an exciting performance for the fans and to secure a finish. For the Brazilian, being an exciting fighter is a personal obligation and the tournament’s point system are very much alligned with his way of thinking.

“I approach all my fights as it was my debut.” Scheffel said in an interview with Portal do Vale Tudo. “I’m still fighting for the first spot of the first round (of the tournament). This has been one of the best camps of my career and I’ll show it in the fight. I’m going out there like I always do, looking for the knockout or the submission. Nobody is there to see a boring fight.”

“Renan is a big guy. That’s what I think of him. If he is the Problem, then you better believe it I’m the solution. My strategy is ready. We studied Renan a lot. We know he’s tough. We knew his strong suits and his weaknesses. They were all well studied. We know what we should do and where to add pressure. On our way to victory.”

A cold welcome in Russia

We’re taking a trip to Russia to close this week’s Brazil Beat on the right note.

Yes, featherweight Oberdan Tenorio was all set to make an impressive debut in the co-main event of Open Fighting Championship 31, in Shergesh, Russia, last weekend. However, the Brazilian’s opponent and home athlete Nikolay Aleksakhin had other plans.

Just a few seconds past the opening minute of the fight, Aleksakhin showed the Brazilian a cold welcome and knocked him out with a highlight reel spinning kick to the dome that will give this edition of the Brazil Beat the perfect closure we were looking for.

Check out the flashy knockout below.

A Brazilian Beat

Straight from the country’s capital of Brasilia, big band Moveis Coloniais de Acaju was one of the first bands I got a chance to see live that opened my eyes to just how rich Brazilian music is.

Their sound is mix of samba, ska, swing, rock and great lyrics full of wordplay, social commentary and cultural references and they’ve been one of my favorites since I first saw them live in my hometown back in 2009. They’ve disbanded a few years ago, but they left us some of the most creative and upbeat songs of the last decades in the Brazilian underground scene.

It’s honestly no wonder that I left that concert with two of their albums even though I had never heard of them before that night.

Here’s a great example of what they’re all about.

That’s it for this week, folks. See you next time!

Lucas out.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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