Charles Oliveira has always been an extremely talented fighter, but up until 2018 he could never manage to put together a solid run of wins in the UFC. According to fellow UFC fighter Eryk Anders, it was changes in his personal life that took his career to the next level.
Anders was on a new episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, and the topic of Oliveira's metamorphosis came up. Joe Rogan said:
"I wonder what it is that changes in a fighter. Is it a mindset thing? I don't know what it is but something happens where some guys just don't quit any more. They just get to this level, and something changes."
Eryk Anders said:
"My wife grew up with Oliveira in Guaruja, Brazil and so she knows him really well. And he eliminated all the negative people out of his life. So I guess, probably started taking training more seriously, put more time and effort into the gym. Not so much in the other people. Now he's like knocking people out."
Listen to Eryk Anders and Joe Rogan discuss Oliveira below:
Charles Oliveira's nickname is 'Do Bronx' which means 'of the favela,' and while it's heartwarming to see him continue to embrace his roots and support his community, it can be hard to succeed on the level of a UFC champion without stepping out of that familiar environment into one that's much more rigid and structured around the lifestyle of an elite athlete.
Oliveira spent seven years in the UFC struggling, winning some and losing some and building up a mediocre 10-8 record. Then the change happened, and Oliveira went on an eight fight win streak that earned him a lightweight title shot. His streak now sits at eleven wins, and there's no sign that he's going to slip up again any time soon.
Charles Oliveira isn't interested in fighting Islam Makhachev in Abu Dhabi
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev have made a lot of noise about fighting Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title at UFC 281 in Abu Dhabi. However, according to Oliveira's coach, 'Do Bronx' isn't interested. Speaking to Brazilian outlet Ag Fight, Diego Lima said:
“Why do it in Makhachev’s turf? Look at what Charles has done. Look at his track record. Why not let Charles fight wherever he wants? Why not give us the chance to fight in Brazil? ‘Oh but it has to be somewhere neutral’. Fine, let’s do it in New York ... Now, why would we want to go to Abu Dhabi in October? That’s much sooner than when we’re used to fighting. That’s a different timing. It’s not Charles’s timing. Charles doesn’t want it. As his head coach, I fully support his decision and agree with him.”
If Charles Oliveira wants to fight Islam Makhachev in New York City, it's not too far after the UFC's Abu Dhabi card in October. The last five Madison Square Garden cards have taken place during the first two weekends of November.