VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Charles Oliveira hasn’t watched his most recent fight and it doesn’t sound like he plans to.
In his mind, there isn’t a point. Why? Well, Oliveira (33-9 MMA, 21-9 UFC) doesn’t think that was him in there, as he told reporters at UFC 289 pre-fight news conference Wednesday ahead of his bout Saturday at Rogers Arena.
“About that other fight, I didn’t watch it,” Oliveira told MMA Junkie and other reporters. “It wasn’t me. I wasn’t there. This is a different Charles. This is a Charles that’s thirsty. The Charles you’re going to see is the Charles that you know, that’s thirsty for victory, that’s hungry – someone who is back at it and a lion who is always hunting. That’s the Charles that you’re going to see.”
“When (my manager) Diego (Lima) told us about the fight, he said, ‘Hey, I have a new challenge for you,” Oliveira said. “There’s a new step that you need to take on your way to the top.’ When I came here, every single time it was cold. It was snowing. Things are changing. It’s nice. It’s warm. It’s beautiful out. Things are changing. Thing are different. This is a new moment. This is a new Charles. Things are going to start changing as well, back to the top.
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Oliveira’s opponent Saturday is fellow top contender Beneil Dariush, who rides an eight-fight winning streak into the matchup and is thought by many to be a no-brainer next contender if he extends to nine.
If Oliveira halts the streak at eight, however, he thinks he should be next in line and earn a rematch vs. Makhachev (24-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC), who is expected to return in October.
“Surely,” Oliveira said. “Whoever wins this fight this Saturday is going to go for the title. I’m next. I’m in line for it.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 289.