He spent two years in the hospital as a baby. He took a correction by an older lady when he was simply beginning out. But he was capable of overcome obstacles to afford an opportunity to grow to be the UFC light-weight champion in his struggle towards Michael Chandler this weekend at UFC 262 (reside from 4 a.m. on the evening of Saturday to Sunday on RMC Sport 2). Portrait of Brazilian Charles Oliveira, document holder for UFC submissions and who might grow to be the “latest” champion in the historical past of the group.
Diego Lima didn’t anticipate it. But he shortly understood the energy of the image. Two years in the past, in May 2019, the coach and supervisor of Charles Oliveira sees his protégé hand him a stone simply earlier than strolling in the direction of the octagon in Rochester, New York, and ask him to maintain it throughout his (victorious) struggle towards Nik Lentz, whom he had already overwhelmed for 4 years earlier. Before explaining: his father, Francisco, had given one to every of his sons a number of years earlier than to symbolize the stone utilized by David to defeat Goliath. A fortunate attraction that follows him each time he has to climb into the cage. A nod to his destiny, too.
In our metaphor, Charles Oliveira is David. And the trials of life take the kind of Goliath. Opposed this Saturday evening to the American Michael chandler for the light-weight belt left vacant by Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement, in the foremost struggle of a UFC 262 which will likely be held in the offered out home at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, Charles Oliveira might grow to be the “late” champion in the historical past of the largest MMA group by means of the planet – he would win the belt for his twenty-eighth struggle in the UFC, the document to date belonging to Briton Michael Bisping, topped in the center class in 2016 in his twenty-sixth look in the octagon – if he beats the man who can grow to be the second fighter in UFC and Bellator champion historical past after Eddie Alvarez (who misplaced his Bellator belt to… Chandler earlier than successful it again towards him).
Above all, he can take the most sensible revenge. “Do Bronx,” his nickname, ought to by no means have been there if a health care provider’s promise had come true. Even earlier than turning ten, the child who has enjoyable taking part in soccer in the streets of Guaruja, a stone’s throw from Santos and his legendary membership which has seen Pelé, Coldoaldo, Zito Dunga or Neymar sees his life flip the wrong way up: he is identified with an irregular coronary heart murmur and rheumatoid arthritis which assaults his ankles. The penalties shortly flip to horrible. Staying up? Impossible or virtually. Oliveira must spend two years in the hospital. The remedy is heavy and costly, however her mom’s boss, Ozana, a housekeeper at a faculty and at the principal’s home, helps the household take care of it (dad labored in a slaughterhouse and offered eggs in the market native).
After work, Ozana involves sleep in the hospital, on the flooring subsequent to his mattress, and generally spends a month with out coming dwelling to take care of him. Doctors are going to make him a prediction that sends shivers down your backbone. “They told my mother that I could no longer play sports”, tells the UFC fighter in a superb article by Guilheme Cruz for the MMA Fighting site. One of them even explains to his mother and father that there’s “a chance” of by no means seeing him stroll once more. But Francisco and Ozana hold the religion. And Charles will show them proper. He was launched from the hospital at eleven years outdated, has not but absolutely recovered and should endure two injections of benzathine benzylpenicillin per week and one injection per thirty days of anti-inflammatory medication. Doctors advise him towards any overly strenuous bodily exercise, beginning with soccer. But two months later, towards their recommendation, he returned to the sport.
It will no longer be with the spherical ball, too harmful for his ankles, however in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, nicknamed “the soft art” in Brazil because it makes use of flexibility and method greater than energy. “Two months later he won a local competition,” his father mentioned. “When we went again to the physician and he told us he could not do it, Charles had already received two gold medals. ” Along with her brother Hermison, Oliveira pushed open the door to Bronx’s Gold Team (from which he took his nickname), where coach Ericson Cardoso offers them free lessons at the request of a close friend. Where he’s going to take a good lesson from day one. Too “inexperienced” technically, it hurts a few girls in exercises. Another, Joyce Matias, a year younger but who has been training in the discipline for a year, will take charge of making him pay. “I gave him a great correction in order that he would not harm anybody anymore, she remembers with a smile. I did not give him an opportunity.”
“I’d relatively die”
Cardoso thinks the episode will turn him off. But Charles returns to the room, motivated by the idea of training to… beat Matias, who will become his friend and even a little more and that he will even face in intersex fights in local tournaments. He will end up “kicking his ass”, says Matias herself. Oliveira is ambitious. He wants to “make a profession” in combat sports and “grow to be a champion”. But MMA is not yet in its sights, occupied by jiu-jitsu. He will appear at the age of sixteen, when he follows a Cardoso to Curitiba invited by Jorge “Macaco” Patino to come and train with the stars (Wanderleu Silva, Mauricio Rua, etc.) from the Chute Boxe hall. If he has to train away from the elite group of coach Rafael Cordeiro, the boy impresses. He ends up being convinced to get into MMA.
The first amateur fight, in November 2007, just after his eighteenth birthday, ended with a submission – a nod to his training and his future – via an arm lock in a few seconds. Only concern? Unaware before their return from the fight, mom Ozana gets angry and does not speak to Charles and his father for a few days. A few trips to the gym to see him train will convince her that the path chosen by her son is the right one. At eighteen, he also made a strong decision: to stop the injections he had been undergoing since childhood. And to launch to his parents: “I would relatively die than to proceed like this and to not do the issues that I like”. A few months later, in March 2008, he replaced a teammate on short notice and made his pro debut at Predator FC, a welterweight tournament – when he weighed much less than the category limit – scooped up with three wins in one night. .
He would win two more similar tournaments with multiple fights on the same night in a perfect start to his career that took him to the UFC in just over two years with a 12-0 record. His love for MMA has grown and Oliveira is aiming for the top. It will take a long time to reach it. Then tenth youngest fighter to join the UFC at the height of his twenty years and two hundred and eighty-eight days for his debut in the organization in August 2010, the Brazilian begins again with a submission, via an arm lock, as a symbol of the sequel. Thirteen more to come to UFC in ten and a half years to make him the man with the most submissions in the history of the organization. He also sits at the top of the ranking for the most “night performances”, with ten (sixteen bonuses in all), and the most “finishes” (submission or KO / TKO) tied with Donald Cerrone with sixteen .
But his journey is marked by ups and downs, started in the feather category where he misses four times the weight. His final move to the lightweight, in April 2017, will be a game-changer. Oliveira has since posted a 9-1 record, including an ongoing streak of eight straight wins, including seven consecutive “finishes”. In short, he deserved his chance for the title. Everything comes at the right time to those who know how to wait, and to those who have the talent… If he beats Chandler and covers himself with gold, he says that success will not change him, that he will remain this “easy and humble” man. . But it has already enabled her to make a difference. As soon as possible, he allowed his parents to leave their jobs to buy them a farm in Vale do Ribeira, four hours from Sao Paulo, and fill it with animals: llamas, cattle, chickens, pigs, turkeys, ducks, geese, cattle, ostriches, emus, ponies and horses.
With the latter, the relationship goes further: Oliveira competes in trotting races with his horse Nelson, a passion born from his friend Gia Santos who accompanies him to his corner to fight while he has no experience of high level combat sports. A hobby which costs but which does good to the one who is too “fats” to be a real jockey but still manages to win some local races. He also opened his own training hall in Guaruja, Centro de Treinamento Charles Oliveira Gold Team, where his wife Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner Talita Roberta Pereira (they have a daughter, Tayla, born in 2017) also serves as a coach. He has achieved goals, what, but not yet that of being a champion in the UFC. It may be for this Saturday, in the most dense category of the organization. Far from the predictions of doctors.
“I’m a child from a really poor neighborhood who the docs mentioned he could not play sports anymore, and look the place I’m now,” he says. “Look at the whole lot that is occurred in my home. life. On May fifteenth, I can grow to be UFC champion. How can I not say that the favela has received? ” And to conclude as a message to those who go far away like him: “I bear in mind after I walked for hours to come back dwelling after jiu-jitsu tournaments as a result of we had no cash to take the bus. I bear in mind to share a sandwich at midday in order that I can take the bus. If your life is straightforward, you might be too comfortable. If your life is difficult, it pays in the finish. I wish to present everybody that you could get issues if we work arduous, even when we come from a favela. You do not need to steal, deal medication or do unhealthy issues. I wish to present the kids that they will win in life. Imagine having the ability to come again. in Brazil with the belt and permit the children in the favela to the touch it. It’s priceless. ” With his David stone in his pocket, he may also be capable of go to his former docs. To remind them to by no means say by no means.