Charles Oliveira has been feeling overlooked in the UFC’s crowded lightweight division, but he’ll get a chance to turn some heads next month.
“Do Bronx” will lock horns with former interim champ Tony Ferguson in the UFC 256 co-main event on Dec. 12. The potentially action-packed 155-pound matchup was a late addition to the card after two title bouts — Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson and Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling — were canceled.
Oliveira enters the bout on a seven-fight winning streak in which he has finished all his opponents inside the distance. Facing a marquee opponent was worth the risk of accepting a short-notice fight, the Brazilian says.
“I’m happy for this opportunity to fight Ferguson; I’m taking this fight on less than 20 days notice, but it’s a chance to display my talent and show I’m ready to fight any Top 5 ranked guy, like I’ve been saying for a while now,” Oliveira recently told UFC.com. “The time has come. I will shock the world on Dec. 12.”
Ferguson, meanwhile, had a 12-fight winning streak snapped in a fifth-round TKO loss to Justin Gaethje at UFC 249 this past May. Given the skill sets of both athletes, it seems likely to be an easy contender for “Fight of the Night.”
“I’m expecting this fight to be a war, because we’re both good on the feet and on the ground. We both like to fight, we both move forward,” Oliveira said. “Fans can be sure this is going to be a war, but they can also be sure that when it’s done, my arm will be raised. It’s my moment. I respect Ferguson in every way — he’s tough, a fantastic guy — but now it’s my time.”
UFC 256 takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and is headlined by a flyweight title bout between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno. The main card airs on pay-per-view via ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN2 and ESPN+.