Surging lightweight contender, Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira is a gunning for a second homecoming in four months, as the submission specialist aims to headline UFC Fight Night Brasilia on Match 14th. – according to his manager, Diego Lima.
The twenty-five fight UFC veteran has won six straight since his return to 155-pounds, scoring an opening-round knockout of Jared Gordan last November in Sao Paulo. The 30-year-old has managed submissions of Clay Guida, Christos Giagos, Jim Miller, David Teymur – and stoppages via strikes over Nik Lentz and the aforementioned Gordan. The streak at lightweight has earned Oliveira the #13 rank – but a matchup within the opening quarter of the year is somewhat of a sticking point.
Above him in the rankings is Anthony Pettis, who is already paired with Carlos Diego Ferriera. Former opponent Paul Felder, will match with Dan Hooker. Briefly rumored opponent, compatriot Edson Barboza – is expected to make a drop to featherweight for his next Octagon outing. Possible opponents for Oliveira, according to his manager, are recent big winners – Justin Gaethje, and Kevin Lee. In a recent interview with Brazilian website, Ag Fight, Diego Lima proposed a couple of potential pairings for ‘Do Bronx’.
“I really want to put Charles (Oliviera) on that Brasilia card,” Lima said. “But I’d like to put him on the main event, against a ranked guy. There’s no logic in me putting him to fight Justin Gaethje, Kevin Lee or another ranked guy if it’s not the main event, if that fight brings no career opportunities. When it comes to (Justin) Gaethje, there has (sic) been no negotiations. We really would like to fight a ranked man. Very little (sic) of them don’t have a fight booked, like Justin and Kevin Lee. I think they are the top 10 lightweights who don’t have a fight scheduled.”
A bout against either Gaethje or Lee may prove a leap too far for Oliveira at this point in time. Knockout artist Gaethje, is widely expected to sit-out in anticipation of a lightweight title tilt against either Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson. The former WSOF lightweight best is also expected to entertain the possibility of a clash with Conor McGregor, who takes on Donald Cerrone in the main event of UFC 246 next Saturday. For Kevin Lee, the recent Tristar trainee has returned to lightweight with a vengeance – stopping the then-undefeated Gregor Gillespie with a stiffening head kick at UFC 244. Rumblings also suggest Lee may feature on the main card of UFC 249 in April, in a grudge-match against grappling ace, Islam Makhachev.
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.