FORTALEZA, Brazil — Charles Oliveira is hungry for more.
The Brazilian lightweight made history in 2018, breaking — and then extending — the record for most submission wins in UFC history after finishing Clay Guida, Christos Giagos and Jim Miller in a span of six months. In 2019, he doesn’t rule out attempting to become the first athlete to compete six times inside the Octagon in a calendar year.
”I want to keep the momentum going, keep the rhythm. That’s what I asked the UFC, my managers and my coaches,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting. “If God blesses me, I’ll keep winning, submitting quickly and staying uninjured so I can fight even more this year. I fought three times last year, so, who knows, maybe I’ll fight four or five times, or even more this year. It’s a new Charles, a new moment.”
Right after his win over Miller on Dec. 15, “do Bronx” told reporters he wanted a quick turnaround at the UFC Fortaleza card on Feb. 2. It took some time, but the offer finally came.
On Saturday night, Oliveira faces David Teymur at the Centro de Formação Olímpica in Fortaleza, Brazil.
”I’ve been saying this for some time but some people don’t believe it: it’s a new Charles, it’s a new era,” Oliveira said. “I never stopped training since my last fight, I stayed focused. I asked for a fight in Fortaleza, but we never know what the UFC is going to do. I kept training hard, so I wasn’t surprised by the offer.”
Two of Oliveira’s recent opponents in the UFC were veterans of the game, 35 years of age or over. In Teymur, he gets a 29-year-old prospect who rides a perfect five-fight winning streak in the eight-sided cage.
”I want the toughest guys in the division,” Oliveira said. “I’m living the best moment of my life. I want to fight guys coming off wins, ranked opponents. It’s a dangerous fight, and that’s what I want. I want to test myself every time I get in there. This is a fight where I’ll be able to showcase my striking and my jiu-jitsu.”
With a 8-1 record as a professional, and 3-1 in exhibition bouts on the The Ultimate Fighter reality show, Teymur has never been finished before in mixed martial arts. For “do Bronxs”, it’s extra motivation.
”I think he’s another opponent that will once again avoid going to the ground at all costs,” Oliveira said. “I haven’t had the opportunity to show my evolution on the feet yet, but I’m getting more comfortable there, happier inside the Octagon. It will be a clash of styles, him avoiding the ground and me trying to taking him down, but I’ll always be one step ahead of him.
”I just want to fight who’s up there to get me closer to my goal, which is fighting for the belt. I will definitely enter the top 15 with this win and will move towards that goal.”