Bronx: “Frankie Edgar’s the man, but I’d love to face him”

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Charles in photo by Carlos Ozório

Charles “do Bronx” Oliveira made it to the 14th win of his career at UFN 22, surprising favored-to-win winner of the “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show Efrain Escudero. The undefeated fighter took home his second submission-of-the-night bonus check, in two fights in the promotion, to boot. The beast from coastal São Paulo state, an Ericson Cardozo brown belt, had the following chat with

Bronx submits Escudero. Photo: Josh Hedges

In your fights, you always seem calm and look to push the pace from the get go. Do you not feel any pressure when you’re in there?

One always gets nervous. My posture has to do with the work of the team, which makes me more confident. In the cage it’s just me, the opponent and the judge. My trainers, Ericson and Macaco (Jorge Patino) always help me stay calm. I go in always focused on what I need to do, with our game plan in mind, and it works out.

A lot of MMA fighters with Jiu-Jitsu backgrounds set the gi aside when fight time approaches. What do you do?

I train in the gi the whole time. I don’t stop, not even close to fight time. I train Jiu-Jitsu and MMA the whole time, always both. Jiu-Jitsu is my mainstay, it’s what takes the foreground. But I always do both, I can’t forsake one for the other.

This time, despite your winning by submission again, you showed in the UFC that you have good standup. Do you feel your standup game is at the same level as your ground game?

Like in Jiu-Jitsu, when I see an opening to decide the fight, I finish. But training MMA here at Bronx’s Gold Team is complete, from top to bottom. I’m a complete fighter, too. I know I have a lot to improve on in the standup, but we always find a work-around standing or on the ground. There’s always a way to finesse it!

What are your thoughts on your division in the UFC (lightweight) and current champion Frankie Edgar?

There are a lot of tough guys in my division. Indeed, just to be in the UFC you have to be good. Everyone has their own fight style, but nobody’s silly. Frankie Edgar deserves what he’s got because of the work he’s been doing. He beat the champ and he’s the man, the man to beat. Now it’s all about doing my job and if I get a shot at him, that would be marvelous. He’s to be congratulated and is doing things right.

Charles subs Darren Elkins in UFC debut. Photo: Josh Hedges

What was it like entering the UFC and winning two fights in such great fashion in such a short space of time?

I’m so happy about it. Getting into the UFC was marvelous. Thank God I managed to get into the biggest event in the world. I hope to keep doing well and now I’m keeping focused and forging ahead.

Do you know if you’ll fight again by the end of the year?

For the time being I’m just enjoying having won. I have nothing lined up yet. I’ll let you know when I do.

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