Charles Oliveira has high hopes at 145 pounds. | Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com
Charles Oliveira has recovered from the torn esophagus he suffered in an August defeat to Max Holloway and has begun to train for his return to the Octagon. “Do Bronx” will meet Myles Jury in a pivotal featherweight matchup at UFC on Fox 17 on Dec. 19 in Orlando, Fla., and the Brazilian sounds motivated to regain his footing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s 145-pound division.
Jury elected to downshift to featherweight after losing a three-round decision to Donald Cerrone at UFC 183 on Jan. 3. The defeat was his first as a professional.
“He is really tough,” Oliveira told Sherdog.com. “He’s coming off a defeat to Cerrone, who punished him badly; but he never gave up. I’m sure it’s going to be a great battle. I really needed to fight again this year, and winning this fight will be a great step towards fighting for the title. I hope to win two more fights next year and finally get a title shot.”
Like all other contenders in the featherweight division, Oliveira has his eyes on the unification bout between longtime champion Jose Aldo and interim titleholder Conor McGregor at UFC 194 on Dec. 12.
“McGregor came in and set fire to our division with his trash-talking ways,” he said. “He’s doing a great job of bringing attention to our division, but Aldo’s a great champion who has already knocked out many tough guys, and I don’t think Conor will be any different. Although, like McGregor always says, he’s different and normally does what he promises. If I were Aldo, I wouldn’t run the risk of exchanging punches. I would take him down, because everyone knows McGregor knows nothing on the ground.”
Oliveira admits he would welcome the opportunity to face McGregor someday.
“Once the fight started standing up, I would have to work on my feet, but Chad Mendes showed the world McGregor is on the ground,” he said. “I have no doubt my jiu-jitsu is among the best in the division. Once I put him on the ground, it would be a white belt against a black belt. I have a dream to fight the best fighters in the division, and he’s one of the best, so I believe sooner or later we will face off.”
Leonardo Fabri contributed to this story.