A recent revelation in the world MMA picture, Charles do Bronx awaits a berth at UFC Rio. And he has good reason to believe his time may come, seeing as there are new matchups in the works.
“I still don’t know who the opponent will be or at what event, but I’m really hopeful it will be at UFC Rio. Nothing’s set in stone, but I’m training. I can’t say I deserve it more than the others, but at this moment it’s the dream of all Brazilian fighters, and I want it too,” he tells GRACIEMAG.com.
“There are matchups in the works, and they’re telling me to be in shape. Whenever they say, ‘Kid, it’s you,’ I’ll be ready.
Charles’s last fight – his third in the UFC – brought an end to his unbeaten record, having lost to Jim Miller. The fighter guarantees he is more mature now, since his first setback.
“I was riding a 17-fight winning streak and thought I was learning more with each win. Truth is – I learned much more from this loss. I saw how we’re not invincible and that we have to train more to become even better with each day. We have to learn, whether it’s from someone older, younger, black belt, white belt. . . We never know everything, and that’s how we manage to get better. To be the best, you have to train a lot.”
With the introduction of the featherweight division to the UFC, Charles would be able to drop a weight class. However, what the fighter says he wants is the lightweight belt. He doesn’t think it will be easy, but he has found inspiration in another young fighter to do it: light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
“I feel my division is really this one. I’ll leave it in the hands of my coaches, Ericson and Macaco, but I like fighting at 70 kg. Jon Jones managed to become champion at 23, and I am now 21. I’m still young compared to the rest of the guys in the division and I have much to learn, but I still have a lot to show in the UFC,” he says in closing.