Heading into his ufc 124: “St. Pierre vs. Koscheck 2” fight with Jim Miller, young gun Charles Oliveira has been gaining a considerable amount of momentum. His two-year, fourteen-fight career is completely unblemished, with not a loss to his name, and that includes two fights in the UFC, the best and most competitive MMA promotion in the world. Oliveira recently beat formerly-famed and (at the time of the fight) grossly overweight Efrain Escudero, the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner that had at one time been a big part of the UFC’s drive into Mexico. In a recent interview with Tatame.com, Oliveira shed some light on where he stands now that he’s finding his footing in the UFC. Here are the highlights.
“I knew I could do great fights and thanks God I’m doing it… I was surprised that I was pointed out to be considered the highlight of the year. I’m thrilled and the team is very happy… I’m improving my boxing skills more and more, and if they make a mistake, I can knockout or get the submission… Now, I’m not great. But I can buy my stuff… My house is humble, who knows me I almost live on a slum. Now, thanks God, if my girlfriend says: “Baby, I want to eat a cheeseburger with salad today”, I can afford it. If my friend comes to ask me: “Charles, I’m feeling like eating something but I can’t afford it”, I go there and help him. I’m a humble guy, I like to help my friends. Thanks God I’m living my dream, a new life.”
Even though I picked Jim Miller to beat Charles in a recent article, by no means does that mean that I have a problem with Oliveira. In fact, I’m a big fan of the man. He’s an incredible athlete with an amazing amount of potential, and he’s put all of his heart and soul into both of his UFC fights. The man has two UFC fights and two “Submission of the Night” awards. He fights hard, he goes for the finish, and he’s incredibly humble. This is the absolute best blueprint for a champion, and Charles Oliveira has all the makings of a great future champion.
Keyword there, however, is “future”. I mean absolutely no disrespect, but the one thing Oliveira really needs right now is a tough loss. An undefeated streak can become more of a hindrance than a help as it continues to grow, only a select number of men have proven able to deal with that kind of pressure. Oliveira may be one of them, but as young as he is, he may not be. Efrain Escudero, the man he beat, stands out as a pretty obvious example of someone whole let his undefeated streak get into his head and cloud his judgment, to the point where when it broke, it sapped almost all life out of him.
On Oliveira’s specific case, I think a loss would be the best possible thing that could happen to him in the UFC. Jim Miller should have all the tools necessary to put a momentary halt to Oliveira’s ever-faster rise. Yet I’m not fully counting out Charles Oliveira, in fact I think he’ll hold his own remarkably well. Beating Jim Miller outright is by no means outside the realm of possibility. While I’m favoring the Miller brothers to win at UFC 124, Charles Oliveira should once again give us one of the best performances of the night.
And what about you, fans and friends? What do you think the future holds for Charles Oliveira?