Article

Prime Time for Charles Oliveira

"Frankie is a champion. A win would help my chances of getting a title shot soon." - Charles Oliveira
UFC featherweight Charles OliveiraProfessional sports are never solely about what happens on the field, court, ice, ring, or Octagon. Those who realize that stick around and have successful careers, some even becoming superstars in their craft. The others fade away, wondering why their ability to hit a curveball a mile wasn’t enough.

So when athletes come to the UFC, it isn’t enough to just be able to fight. There’s a lot more involved, something Charles Oliveira has discovered firsthand over his nearly three years in the organization.

“Oh, I learned so much,” he said. “Paperwork, cutting weight, travel, interviews, press. There is always so much to do in addition to training.”

The fact that Brazil’s “Do Bronx” is still here and fighting in a UFC 162 co-main event against Frankie Edgar on Saturday lets you know that he’s picked up those lessons well. And despite some ups and downs along the way, the 23-year-old has remained a cool customer in and out of the Octagon.

“I am very young, but I have been fighting for a long time,” said Oliveira, who turned pro in 2008 at the age of 18. “I have great coaches that keep me prepared and I train to be ready for anything. For this fight I am ready for anything. When you are prepared, it’s very easy to keep your cool.”

Oliveira will need every ounce of that cool against Edgar, a former lightweight champion and current member of the pound-for-pound list who is hungry to get back in the win column after razor-thin losses to Benson Henderson (twice) and Jose Aldo. Oliveira has enough motivation of his own in that department as he looks to shake off a September 2012 loss to Cub Swanson. And while he’s been out nearly a year, he doesn’t believe ring rust will be an issue come Saturday night.
 
“I am fight ready all the time,” he said. “I train year around, so when the UFC calls I always want to be ready. I had time to focus on other important things (over the last 10 months), but I always want to compete. I would fight every month if UFC would let me; fighting is fun for me.”

It’s even more fun when there’s a big name across the Octagon from him, and at this point in the featherweight division, few are bigger than Edgar. Was it surprising when he got the call that in his first fight back he would be taking on New Jersey’s finest?

“I was very excited to hear that I get to fight a champion like Frankie Edgar on a big PPV card,” said Oliveira, whose level of respect is evident simply by his reference to his opponent as a champion. “Frankie is a champ for reason. He has big wins against the best fighters in the world. I will have to be at my best when I fight him.”

When Oliveira is at his best, he’s something to see, as he’s a dynamic groundfighter and striker who is looking for the finish from the time the bell sounds. Edgar, on the other hand, takes a little time to warm up, usually fighting his best in the championship rounds. The problem is, there are no championship rounds on Saturday, so it’s imperative for Edgar to start as fast as Oliveira does. That could make for an instant classic, and Oliveira plans on doing his part. But at the same time, he doesn’t see Edgar as being such a slow starter.

“I would not call him a slow starter,” he said. “He is always aware of where he is at in the fight. But I do like to set the pace, and I’m always looking to finish the fight as fast as possible. The plan is always finish the fight as fast as possible.”

If he can do that against a former world champion who has never been finished, then we might be seeing Oliveira going from co-main events to the top of the bill sooner rather than later. After almost three years in the UFC, that’s one lesson he knows best.

“Frankie is a champion,” he said. “A win would help my chances of getting a title shot soon.”

 

Watch Past Fights

토요일, 3월 4
10PM/7PM
ETPT
Las Vegas, Nevada

미디어

최근
댄 하디, 존 구든이 제공하는 UFC 209 프리뷰. UFC 209 대회에선 타이런 우드리-스티븐 톰슨, 하빕 누르마고메도프-토니 퍼거슨 2개 타이틀전이 펼쳐진다.
2017. 2. 24
하빕 누르마고메토프와 토니 퍼거슨이 UFC 209 대회에서 라이트급 잠정챔피언 타이틀을 놓고 맞붙는다. 양 선수 모두에게 가장 어려운 경기가 될 것으로 예상되는 이번 경기, 조 로건 UFC 해설자가 승부를 예상해본다.
2017. 2. 24
타이런 우들리가 UFC 167대회에서 조쉬 코스첵을 꺾으며 UFC에서 두 번째 승리를 기록한다. 우들리는 UFC 209 대회에서 스티븐 톰슨을 상대로 웰터급 타이틀 방어전에 나선다.
2017. 2. 24
UFC 205 대회, 마이클 존슨을 완벽히 제압하는 하빕 누르마고메도프. 누르마고메도프는 UFC 209 대회에서 토니 퍼거슨을 상대로 라이트급 잠정타이틀에 도전한다.
2017. 2. 24