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Charles Oliveira: UFC contract talks on hold for COVID-19 outbreak, but ‘we will definitely renew’

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UFC Fight Night: Lee v Oliveira Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

After submitting Kevin Lee last month at UFC Brasilia, surging veteran Charles Oliveira has entered the upper echelon of contenders in the UFC’s stacked lightweight division. It was only a matter of time, especially considering “do Bronx” has won his last seven fights in a row all by way of knockout or submission.

Still, Oliveira’s UFC future remains up in the air. That’s because the Brazilian fighter is currently waiting to sign a new contract with the promotion, something that he is allowing his coaches and managers, Diego Lima and Jorge Patino, to handle themselves.

“I’m not even worried about it,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting. “‘Macaco,’ Lima and I sat down after the event and talked a lot. We know the wonderful moment I’m living right now; God has blessed me a lot, and I said I’d leave it up to my manager and wouldn’t worry about it.”

The only issue right now is that most of the world, including UFC’s internal operations, are in limbo due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an unfortunate time to be a UFC athlete, especially one needing a new contract, but Oliveira is keeping calm and willing to wait until the dust settles.

“We’re going through very difficult times with the coronavirus, so it’s in (my managers’) hands,” said Oliveira. “‘Macaco’ called me 15 of 20 days after the event and said he spoke with (UFC matchmaker) Sean (Shelby), and Sean said they would wait for this whole coronavirus thing to be over to sit and talk. We know the contract with the UFC is over, but it will definitely be renewed.”

Oliveira’s confidence in renewing his contract doesn’t just come from his camp. Given his recent success over the past two years and the fact that he has the most submission wins in UFC history (14), the promotion would be extremely disappointed to see “do Bronx” take his talents to another organization.

So even though Oliveira would like to resume his UFC career as soon as possible and get a deserved shot at the lightweight top 5, the veteran is okay with waiting. After all, it has taken this long for “do Bronx” to be considered an elite option at 155 pounds.

“I want this whole (pandemic) to be over so we can get back to our normal lives and then we will definitely renew our contract,” he said. “That’s something good for me.”