Brazilian fans hoping to see Charles Oliveira kickoff his comeback tour at UFC 283, which will take place inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro on Jan. 21, 2023, will be disappointed to learn “Do Bronx” won’t be competing at the event.
Oliveira just fought at UFC 280 last month, so it was always a long shot that he’d be capable of fighting again with such a quick turnaround. Nevertheless, UFC apparently offered the former 155-pound kingpin a place on the pay-per-view (PPV) card, but “Do Bronx” and his team turned it down.
“When we were going to face Makhachev, we showed a lot of interest in fighting him in Rio,” Oliveira’s coach Diego Lima told Super Lutas (via Bloody Elbow). “One week after [UFC 280], UFC got in touch with us. They gave us the opportunity to fight in Rio. They have always been really good to us. We have really good talks. It was up to us to accept or not.
“I talked it over with Charles,” he continued. “He’s not injured, but there’s an emotional stress. It’s way beyond physical. Charles is the only fighter that has faced all the Top 5 guys within a year. Champs normally hide, they want to fight once a year. That’s not Charles, but Rio is way too close now. We prefer to give Charles a well-deserved vacation.”
Oliveira has fought twice a year for the past two years. In fact, 2021 saw him beat Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier, while 2022 featured a win over Justin Gaethje and then the UFC 280 title loss to Islam Makhachev (watch highlights).
He certainly deserved a break after facing that Murderer’s Row of opponents.
It is somewhat surprising to hear UFC offering him an immediate rematch against Makhachev. Was this offered before UFC made “Makhachev vs. Volkanovksi” official for UFC 284? Had Makhachev agreed to this, or did it never get to the stage where they even asked him? Offering Oliveira a fight at UFC 283 makes sense. An immediate rematch three months after Makhachev choked out “Do Bronx” in two rounds does not.
Oliveira and his team were even pushing for a spot on the Rio card before the loss to Makhachev. During UFC 280 fight week, he called out Alexander Volkanovski for back-to-back fights: Brazil in January and Australia in February!
“On this fight particularly, my timing is to actually fight in Brazil afterwards, regardless,” Oliveira said. “If we’re going to make this happen, Charles against Alexander Volkanovski, we’re gonna have it two ways. we’re gonna fight at 155, and then we’re gonna fight 145. So we’re going to fight in two weight divisions. I can fight [in Australia] in February, but for his belt.”
Gone now is talk of multiple weight divisions and back-to-back fights. Following his first loss since 2017, Oliveira is now recouping and preparing for a serious run to regain his belt. That doesn’t involve rushing and taking fights immediately.