Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace, Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira is most definitely in his career groove. With seven straight wins and stoppages, the Brazilian is drawn opposite former interim lightweight gold holder Tony ‘El Cucuy’ Ferguson at UFC 256 on December 12th. Ahead of the fan-friendly showdown, Oliveira has predicted an eighth consecutive victory, as he looks to leapfrog the Oxnard native into immediate title contention.
The most prolific grappler in Octagon history, the 31-year-old has notched a promotional best eleven separate submission stoppage successes, most recently adding soon to be common-foe, Kevin ‘The Mo’Town Phenom’ Lee to his winning record at UFC Fight Night Brasilia in March with a third-round guillotine.
Against the enigmatic, division mainstay, Ferguson, Oliveira certainly sees a rise in competition level, and with seven prior consecutive victories on the trot, the Sao Paulo native believes he enters a title-eliminator with the Californian in just ten days time.
“It’s very clear: Whoever wins this fight is the next title contender,” Oliveira told in a recent interview with MMA Fighting. “I have to stay focused and concentrated. He (Tony Ferguson) was coming off twelve wins in a row and I think he made a mistake against Justin Gaethje, so we can’t make mistakes in there.“
Ferguson, who makes his first Octagon walk since a reworked UFC 249 headliner against fellow former interim champion, Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje in May, is tasked with returning to the win column after he suffered a brutal fifth-round knockout loss — snapping a division tying twelve fight unbeaten run.
Given Oliveira’s placement as the co-main event beneath the flyweight title matchup of compatriot, Deiveson ‘Deus Da Garra’ Figueiredo and Brandon ‘The Assassin Baby’ Moreno, as well as his high-profile Fight Night main event win over the aforenoted, Lee, the evolved finisher believes he’ll earn a title tilt — predicting a stoppage win over Ferguson to boot.
“Winning this fight I’ll be the next challenger, no doubt,” Oliveira said. “Seven wins in a row at the moment. It will be eight after this, and I don’t plan on leaving it in the judge’s hands. It will be eight finishes in a row. There’s no way I have to wait. I’m the next challenger.
With the future of current undisputed lightweight best, Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov still up in the air, Oliveira has predicted he’ll eventually tackle the victor of the upcoming UFC 257 lightweight rematch of former division titleholders, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier, and ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor for a vacant title somewhere down the line.
“Conor McGregor retired many times, Paul Felder retired many times; they all retire and come back,” Oliveira explained. “But we’re talking about Khabib (Nurmagomedov). His family, his religion, the man says he’s retired. Someone told me that he swore on his father’s grave that he wouldn’t fight anymore. If that’s true, there’s no way he comes back. If he comes back, he would be going over his own word and his own father. If that’s true, the guy won’t come back. It’s over.“