Perhaps that’s because he has the experience of a fighter several years his elder.
Oliveira is already five years into his UFC tenure, with 13 bouts under the promotional banner. Overall, he has 25 professional fights to his credit. As he says, he literally grew up in the Octagon.
“I came into the UFC five years ago and I was a kid. Now I’m becoming a man in there,” said Oliveira at the post-fight press conference.
Part of becoming a man in there is earning his stripes. That’s what those 13 fights in the Octagon do, they feed the confidence that a fighter needs to become a champion… and Oliveira is well aware of that. It’s what he is in the UFC to do.
“I dream of getting to the belt. I know I’m gonna get there. I’m gonna be the champion.”
Oliveira’s rematch with Lentz was an amazing back-and-forth battle that earned them the Fight of the Night honors. But the poise the Brazilian possessed to wait for the finish also earned him a Performance of the Night award as well. The combined bonuses netted him $100,000 in addition to the amount for which he contracted to fight.
He won’t let that go to his head. It’s high praise and certainly life-altering, but Oliveira’s focus remains steadfast.
“I know I have to train a lot. I didn’t show anything tonight, and you can be sure that one day I’m gonna get there to the title.”
Currently on a four-fight winning streak that includes finishes of Lentz, Hatsu Hioki, and Andy Ogle, Oliveira finds himself on the cusp of realizing his dreams.