When MMA was first introduced to North America, fighters would usually only have knowledge of a single discipline. Those days are gone and a new breed of fighter is finding its way to into the main stage of the UFC. Fighters who are young and have a hybrid skill are the norm of the modern state of MMA. One such fighter is Charles Oliveira, from Brazil.
Charles was born on October 17th 1989, in Sao Paula, Brazil. He began training at an early age in BJJ and Muay Thai. Charles stared his MMA career in 2008 fighting at welterweight. His first fight would take place at Predador FC9: Welterweight Grand Prix. The event was tournament in which the winner would have to to win three fights in one night. That is exactly what Oliverira did that night. He submitted his first opponent Jackson Pontes in the first round with a rear naked choke, and then was able to stop his next tow opponents with punches. This impressive performance would see Charles become the tournament champion and a MMA athlete to look out for. Later that year in December, Charles would compete again in Brazil, this time at Kwai Arena 1. His opponent Mehdi Bagda, would meet a similar fate as Charles last two combatants and succumb to TKO in the first round. The 4-0 Brazilian would compete again in December and enter his second one night tournament at Korea Fight 1. This time it was only a 4 man tournament, but the result would be the same as Charles again finished his two opponents with Knees and punches.
Having started his career a perfect 6-0, Oliveira was starting to gain some attention as a hot prospect in Brazil. He would compete out said of Sao Paulo for the first time and venture to Rio de Janeiro to compete in Jungle Fights 12. His opponent would be Carlos Soares. The fight would showcase the grappling talent of Charles and he submitted Soares with and arm-triangle in the first round. After his win in Jungle FIght, Charles would receive an invitation to compete in US, at Ring of Combat in Atlantic CIty. Oliveira would face Dom Stanco and submit him with a rear naked choke in round one. His next opponent would be future Bellator stand out Alexandre Bezerra. The fight went into the second round and ended when Charles locked on an anaconda choke and handed Bezerra his first and only loss. Oliveira would fight three more times in Brazil and record three more victories improving his perfect record to 12-0. Two of those victories would be in a one night tournament and Warriors Challenge 5.
After going 12-0, Charles Oliveira was offered a contract to compete in the UFC, and would make his debut at UFC Live:Jones vs. Matyushenko. His opponent would be American Wrestling prospect Darren Elkins. The fight was short but very exciting and displayed the Jiu JItsu prowess of Oliveira. Elkins took Oliveira down quickly but found himself inside a triangle choke. When Elkins proved difficult to choke out, Charles transitioned to a beautiful armbar technique and forced the tap-out. The submission would give Charles the submission of the night and bigger paycheck to take home Brazil. Charles would see himself return to the UFC at UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs Palhares and face Ultimate FIghter 5 winner, Efrain Escudero. The fight was an exciting affair seeing a variety of techniques from both fighters. In the third round Charles was able to lock up a fight ending rear-naked choke and go 2-0 in the UFC. Again Charles would receive a bonus for the submission for the night.
After going 2-0 in the biggest MMA promotion of the world, Charles was offered a fight with another rising prospect in Jim Miller. Miller had gone 7-1 in the UFC and was getting close to a title shot in the premier promotion. The fight did not last that long on the feet, as it went to the ground quickly with an aggressive taking charge. Early in the first round, Miller went for a leg, while Charles seem unfazed by the technique. Miller went aggressively for the knee bar and forced the undefeated Brazilian prospect to submit for the first time. After his first loss Charles was eager to get back into the cage and prove to everyone that he is the real deal. He would be matched up with Nik Lentz at UFC Live: Kongo vs Barry. The fight was an exciting back and forth affair in which both combatants would score some points for the judges. In the second round Lentz was hit by an illegal knee which floored the American, and gave Charles the opportunity to submit his opponent. Originally a victory for the Brazilian, the result was overturned by the commission and properly declared a no-contest. Oliveira would remain with out a win in his past two fights, although the lentz about did receive fight of the night honors. The third fight that was placed in front of Charles was a bout against top ranked lightweight Donald Cerrone. Donald dominated the smaller Oliveira and went on the finish the fight with strikes and left Charles wondering what he needed to do to change his results in the cage.
Oliveira has stated that he will go down to featherweight and hopes to find a resurgence in his career. He is expected to face Robbie Perlata at UFC fight night 26 in January.
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