Charles Oliveira got himself back on track in the UFC’s featherweight division this past February with a submission victory over Andy Ogle. That came after losses to contenders Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson.
Now, the 24-year-old hopes to make it two straight when he meets Hatsu Hioki in a featured bout at UFC Fight Night 43 from New Zealand.
For Oliveira (17-4), feeling healthy is the key, along with an improvement in his striking that he plans to showcase vs. Hioki.
“If I put my hands on him, he’s going down,” said Oliveira, in a recent interview with MMAFighting.com. “I’m sure that I will put my hand on him and he will go down.”
Oliveira admitted that he was injured prior to his 2012 loss to Swanson, adding, “I deserve an opportunity fight him again. I got injured a few minutes before the fight….I’m sure i can beat him if I’m at my best.”
While the first round knockout loss was tough on Oliveira, he was given a crack at Edgar, a former champion, last July. While he went the full 15 minutes with “The Answer,” he was unable to score the win.
If Oliveira is able to hold true to his promise of a knockout, it will mark his first since a 2010 win over Diego Bataglia, which was his last fight before signing with the UFC. All five of his Octagon wins have come via submission.
“I always want to submit my opponents, but I’m training a lot my stand up game,” he said. “I will to my best standing. If he gives me openings I believe in my hand.”
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