Former lightweight prospect Oliveira plans to compete in 145-pound ranks in 2012
After busting into the UFC with back-to-back wins as a fresh-faced, lanky 21-year-old lightweight, Brazilian Charles Oliveira will be making the move down the scale to compete at featherweight in the future.
Oliveira’s manager Wade Hampel broke the news to MMAjunkie.com yesterday.
“Do Bronx” made his UFC debut in August 2010, entering the cage with a 12-0 record and plenty of hype behind him.
He made quick work of Darren Elkins on the UFC on Versus: Jones vs. Matyushenko event, following up his speedy submission win with an impressive performance against former Ultimate Fighter winner Efrain Escudero six weeks later at UFC Fight Night 22. Oliveira earned Submission of the Night honors for both victories.
Since then, the excitable youngster has hit a rough patch.
He was dominated by Jim Miller at UFC 124 in a bout that showed he was not yet ready to compete with the elite in the lightweight division. While he looked very good at times in his next outing against Nik Lentz, the bout was marred by an illegal knee thrown by Oliveira. After initially securing a victory by rear naked choke less than two minutes into the second round, the bout was later ruled a no contest, as the bout should have been stopped — momentarily for the foul at the very least — following the knee.
Oliveira got the chance to get right back into the cage two months later at UFC on Versus 5, replacing Paul Taylor opposite Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The WEC veteran came out guns blazing, looking a notch above the Brazilian from the outset, and eventually finished Oliveira at 3:01 of the opening round.
With his record now standing at 14-2 (with one no contest), Oliveira is looking to start fresh ten pounds further down the scale.
His size will be a great asset in the featherweight ranks. Standing 6’2″ tall, Oliveira will tower over many of his future opponents, and boast a healthy reach advantage as well. He’s already shown the speed necessary to contender with the explosive lightning buds of the featherweight division, and his slick submission game and varied striking should make him an instant contender.
Hampel said Oliveira has already performed practice weight cuts, had no problems making the 145-pound limit, and was able rehydrate and recover quickly afterward. The fact that he’s 22-years-old will certainly help make the transition down in weight easier as well.
No word yet on when Oliveira will make his featherweight debut — or who it will be against.
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