As Charles Oliveira continues to build his legacy, stories about his early days in Brazil have emerged through a revealing interview. From selling cheese to his family raising money, 'Do Bronx' made his dream of becoming a UFC champion come true.
Watch Charles Oliveira become the UFC lightweight champion below:
Traveling from Brazil to the United States is not an easy task for MMA fighters. Thousands of fighters struggle to make it to the US due to several reasons, like visa issues and travel expenses, and ultimately never live out their dream.
Another reason why MMA fighters never make it to the UFC is because of corrupt managers. Some managers take advantage of their fighters for financial profit, and Brazilian managers can be no different.
During an interview with Renato Cariani on the IRONBERG PODCAST, Oliveira explained how several managers tricked him into signing fake UFC contracts:
"I'll tell you something. You know when you've been tricked many times? I was tricked many times about contracts. Brazilian managers wanted to work with me and said, 'This is the UFC contract' and things like that... So, they had me sign a contract and I kept waiting like, 'Hey, when will the fight be?' But it was a lie. I wasn't signed to the UFC. This happened two or three times to me."
Managers and promoters can be some of the most untrustworthy figures in any sport. Fighters tend to focus on training and not know what is going on with everything else. Oliveira was lied to several times before finally getting a UFC contract. Since then, 'Do Bronx' has taken advantage of the opportunity and never looked back.
Watch Renato Cariani's interview with Charles Oliveira below (translated and reuploaded by Brazilian MMA Legends):
Charles Oliveira remembers being called 'The Submission Kid' during his first UFC fight
Once Oliveira made it to the UFC, the journey had only begun. 'Do Bronx' was a highly touted submission specialist who took on Darren Elkins in his UFC debut. During the same interview, the Brazilian had this to say about his first match in his current promotion:
"I arrived at the UFC and had the first fight. It was on a preliminary card. There wasn't so much glamour, you know? I arrived to fight and stuff and I wasn't under any pressure... And then I beat the guy in 37 or 38 seconds. I submitted the guy and I remember the broadcast like this, 'That's him, the submission kid!'"
Although 'Do Bronx' ended up being Oliveira's official nickname, 'The Submission Kid' is a rather apt moniker as well. In his first few years, the Brazilian struggled to put together any noteworthy winning streak. In 2018, something clicked, and Oliveria is now on an 11-win run that has led to him becoming a UFC champion.
Watch Charles Oliveira on the streets of Brazil below: