Charles Oliveira is currently ranked #13 in the UFC’s lightweight division, and his slow climb up the rank continues to drag, with the nine-year UFC veteran struggling to draw opponents ranked above him.
This trend will continue in Oliveira’s upcoming fight at UFC Sao Paulo against unranked Jared Gordon, who is only on a one-fight win streak. Meanwhile, Oliveira has racked up five consecutive victories, each over unranked opponents, despite Oliveira’s patience and efforts to fight a higher-ranked opponents. Heading into his next bout, Oliveira arrived at the frustrating discovery that receiving an opponent that he feels he deserves could mean waiting indefinitely, which he cannot afford to do.
“I took the fight because I needed to fight,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting. “My job is to fight. I make money by fighting – that’s how I provide to my daughter. It’s been six months since my last fight, and I’ve been asking for a fight, asking for someone ranked ahead of me, asking for a top-10 (opponent), but it’s not happening. How long am I going to wait? A year? Two years? There’s nothing I can do, I have to fight. I really wanted to fight in Sao Paulo, and he was the only guy who agreed.
“We were negotiating to fight in Singapore, and the guy that agreed to fight me there declined to fight me in Brazil, so there’s really nothing I can do. We’re obligated to fight who they tell us to. People don’t want to fight me, so I have to thank Jared for agreeing to come fight me in Brazil. All I have to do is be 100 percent ready. He’s no easy fight, he’s tough, you know? It will be six (wins in a row) now, and the UFC will have to put me against a ranked opponent one day.”
Charles Oliveira last competed against in May against Nik Lentz, defeating Lentz for the second time in his career (third time if you count 2011’s no contest that was originally an Oliveira victory). As for Jared Gordon, he will enter Sao Paulo with a 3-2 UFC record and is coming off a victory over Dan Moret in June.
If Charles Oliveira defeats Jared Gordon at UFC Sao Paulo Saturday, who do you believe he should face next?