Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira is the winner of 11 straight with 10 nasty finishes, a spectacular run that helped “Do Bronx” capture the 155-pound title back in early 2021. But the Brazilian would later be stripped of his division strap at UFC 274 after a scale fail sent him over the championship limit.
Oliveira (33-8, 1 NC) would go on to make quick work of division bruiser Justin Gaethje but was forced to depart Arizona’s Footprint Center without his belt. Eventually, the bad news made it all the way back to his father in Brazil, who broke down in tears at the thought of UFC taking away his son’s legacy.
“It’s not just a fight, it’s a story, it’s a legacy. It’s been 11 years in UFC but I started a long time ago,” Oliveira told Brazilian MMA Legends. “How many bills did my father fail to pay? How many times did we fucking cry? How many times did we bleed for this shit? Then things started to catch on fire here in Brazil. Then it arrived at my father who lives in the countryside on a farm. Man, my dad called me desperate, crying like a child. And I was like, ‘Calm down, don’t worry, we’ll fix this.’ But my dad was just crying. He was like, ‘It’s a legacy, they can’t take it away.’ And fuck, I wanted to cry but needed to be like, ‘Don’t worry, be at peace,’ and such.”
Oliveira, 32, will have a chance to reclaim his crown when he collides with top lightweight contender Islam Makhachev for the vacant 155-pound title atop the UFC 280 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Oct. 22 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi. Surprisingly, “Do Bronx” remains the betting underdog for their five-round affair.
The winner is expected to make his first title defense in a “champ champ” fight opposite reigning featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski, who plans to make his lightweight debut with the 155-pound belt on the line in early 2022. Unless the winner of this fight is able to make a more convincing argument.