It was a evening to remember for Charles Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 137.
“Do Bronx” submitted opponent Christos Giagos with a rear-naked choke 3:22 into the second round of their preliminary lightweight tilt at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo on Saturday night. It was the 11th victory via tapout of Oliveira’s career, moving him past Hall of Famer Royce Gracie and into sole possession of first place for most submission triumphs in UFC history.
Accomplish such a feat on home soil made it especially memorable for the Macaco Gold Team representative.
“Breaking Royce’s record at age 28 is the proof that I made the right choices in my career,” Oliveira said. “I'm ready to break others. When I signed for this fight, I said that the entire favela would come down and see the Bronx boy fighting, and that's what I showed. This win is for my friends and family that came here, that followed all the problems. Everything that comes hard is because it will work.”
UFC Fight Night 137 marked Oliveira’s fifth consecutive appearance at 155 pounds. While he has won three of his last four appearances in that weight class, he has designs on returning to featherweight, where he competed for an 11-fight stint from 2012 to 2016.
He already has his sights set on some big game at 145 pounds.
“I want to go back to the featherweight division, which is my category,” he said. “I ask to just be put in the game again. There is Jose Aldo, there is Renato [Carneiro], who has been asking to fight, there is the Russian that nobody wants to face [Zabit Magomedsharipov]. I am here. I fight any opponent.”