Charles Oliveira’s journey from being instructed as a baby that he would want a wheelchair to changing into UFC light-weight champion is a narrative of perseverance.
And because the man himself mentioned after beating Michale Chandler to win the vacant belt final yr: “I’m proving to everyone I’m the lion of lions.”
Oliviera has the potential to stretch his sizzling streak contained in the Octagon to 11 wins in a row by beating Justin Gaethje at UFC 274.
However as ever, the chances are stacked in opposition to the Brazilian after he was stripped of his world title after lacking weight forward of the bout.
To win again the belt he by no means misplaced, Oliviera should beat Gaethje then the longer term No.1 contender in an effort to be formally recognised as champ once more.
But ‘do Bronx’ fired again: “The champion has a reputation and his identify is Charles Oliveira. I got here right here to as soon as once more present my story of overcoming and I’ll overcome as soon as extra time.”
The 32-year-old’s fast rise from UFC scrapheap to 10 victories on the bounce – just one, in opposition to Tony Ferguson, going the gap – has been outstanding.
Oliviera’s scenario at Dana White’s firm appeared in perilous form after two separate runs of 4 defeats in six fights.
Throughout these darkish occasions, the Brazilian virtually suffered a close to deadly damage in his first-round TKO defeat to Max Holloway at UFC Struggle Night time 74 in 2015.
The bout was waved off lower than two minutes in when Oliviera dropped to the ground and appeared to clutch his neck earlier than being rushed to hospital.
The UFC revealed that Oliveira suffered ‘a micro tear in his esophagus’ after capturing for a takedown on Holloway.
“I injured my neck in coaching, however did bodily remedy and thought the whole lot was effective,” Oliveira instructed MMAFighting.com.
“However after I fell in opposition to the cage the whole lot went numb, I couldn’t really feel my physique.”
Oliveira fortunately made a full restoration however that wasn’t a shock to anybody conversant in his upbringing.
His nickname ‘Do Bronx’ is Brazil slang for ‘of the favela’, and the fighter’s journey began within the favelas of Vicente de Carvalho in Guaruja, close to Sao Paolo.
Oliveira was identified with bone rheumatism and irregular coronary heart murmurs as a soccer obsessed seven-year-old.
His mom Ozana instructed ESPN Brazil: “The physician mentioned that he wouldn’t stroll, that he would keep in a wheelchair.
“And we mentioned that we’d not settle for that.”
Oliveira added: “The docs mentioned that I couldn’t play sports activities, however as I instructed my father and mom, I’d quite die than cease doing the issues I appreciated.”
The light-weight champion by no means ended up utilizing a wheelchair, and he quickly discovered MMA after a person named Paulo, father to 2 of Oliveira’s pals, took him and his brother to jiu-jitsu class.
Paulo was tragically shot useless two years later and by no means acquired to see what had develop into of the UFC’s specialist submission artist.
“He had develop into a part of our household,” Oliveira instructed ESPN.
“I’m certain that from up there he sees the story of the whole lot that has occurred in my life, he at all times cheered and cheered.
“He mentioned that someday we’d be champions and that we’d give pleasure to my dad and mom and to him.”