It’s a safe assumption that every fighter in the UFC appreciates the opportunity they’ve been given to fight in the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world. For Charles Oliveira, it’s not only an opportunity, but a life changing experience.
At only 20 years of age, Oliveira is one of the youngest fighters to ever step foot in the UFC, but he’s got experiences under his belt that most could never imagine. He grew up in Brazil with very little, but still found the time to fall in love with jiu-jitsu, thanks to an uncle that took him to his first class years ago.
He then went on to have 11 professional fights in Brazil and one in the United States, starting at the age of 18, before getting the call to come to the UFC.
Oliveira has a very simple list of what’s important to him, and while some fighters would say being in the UFC is their No. 1 priority, the young Brazilian stays grounded and true to his roots.
“God is number one, family is number two, and (my) job is number three. That is how I like to live my life,” Oliveira told MMAWeekly.com.
It’s that very focus that separates Oliveira from the average fighter. He understands what’s most important, but also knows that it takes a lot of hard work and support to get him where he wants to go.
Regardless of how hard he had to work to earn his spot in the UFC, Oliveira doesn’t think of himself as something special. It’s that humility that defines him, and he acknowledges that with everything he says.
“I just love to train, and I believe most other fighters just love to train, too,” Oliveira stated.
Oliveira appreciates the accolades that have been laid at his doorstep by everyone from the media all the way to UFC president Dana White, but he never loses focus on what’s important. He wants to provide for his family, and he wants to be humble before God.
Sure, somewhere along the line Oliveira wants to make a run at the UFC lightweight title, but that’s not at the top of his list.
“My only other interests are church and my family,” Oliveira explained. “Even when I come to the U.S., I am focused on training. I have some great sponsors behind me that I want to make proud. When the time is right I want to ‘Dethrone’ the current champ and be the best in my division.”
As Oliveira finishes up his training sessions, he carefully takes off his gear and places it back in the plastic bags from which they arrived. You see, Oliveira appreciates even the smallest things, like the gear sent to him by his sponsors, like Dethrone.
Imagine how much he will love another win in the UFC?
“To be the best you have to fight against the best. The UFC is the best promotion with the best fighters. It is a great honor to be able to fight for the UFC,” Oliveira said.
Oliveira will next compete at UFC 124 in Montreal when he squares off with New Jersey fighter Jim Miller.