The Charles Oliveira Phenomenon: From ‘Quitter’ to Multimillionaire Fan Favorite

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Justin Gaethje once referred to ‘Do Bronxs’ as a “quitter” and a “coward” ahead of their fight at UFC 274. This sentiment has been shared by many of his opponents, along with fans. But, according to Joe Rogan, one thing happened in Oliveira’s life that changed his temperament forever.

As ‘Do Bronxs’ prepares for the rematch against Islam Makhachev in Abu Dhabi at UFC 294, it is essential to understand why fans worldwide gravitate towards him. Despite Oliveira shying away from usual trash-talk tactics and not being well-versed in the global language, he is still an international superstar…

Charles Oliveira’s Beginning

The 33-year-old was born in the favelas of Sau Paolo, to an extremely poor family with a bone rheumatism health condition. He persevered as he started his jiu-jitsu career, and then transitioned to fighting. Oliveira was signed by UFC at the tender age of 20.

Earlier in his career, he was bouncing around weight classes from lightweight to featherweight. The former champ’s wins were impressive, but his losses were almost always against big-name fighters such as Donald Cerrone, Cub Swanson, and Frankie Edgar. At that time, he was labeled as a gatekeeper. After cementing his position in the featherweight division, he was once again selected for a big task after a 4 fight-win streak.

This time, Oliveira was going to share the cage with a surging and title-bound Max Holloway. This fight ended in less than one and a half minutes as Oliveira slumped against the cage holding the shoulder. The moniker of “Quitter” was put on him after this fight. He suffered two more losses at featherweight over his next 3 fights and decided it was time to make a change.

New Life & New Weight Class

Several pundits suggest that Charles was unable to perform to the best of his levels because of the brutal weight cut. But Joe Rogan has a different theory. Recently on his podcast with the bantamweight champ, Sean O’Malley suggested that it was the birth of Oliveira’s daughter in 2017 that flipped a switch somewhere deep inside him. ‘Do Bronxs’ went on a tear destroying every opponent put in front of him after 2017. His 11-fight win streak was eventually stopped by Makhachev in 2022.

During this epic run, Charles defeated fan favorites Clay Guida, Kevin Lee, and Tony Ferguson. He won the vacant lightweight title against Michael Chandler, defended it against Dustin Poirier, and also defeated Justin Gaethje. But, despite giving fan-favorites a thrashing, somehow his stock kept rising. His recent fight against Beneil Dariush is a testament to that. The arena felt like it was in Brazil and not Canada when Oliveira won.

The Champion Has A Name

Charles Oliveira gives his inside and outside-the-cage interviews through an interpreter. But what the viewers gain from his voice and emotions is priceless. In a world where people need to play a character to be noticed, Oliveira won hearts with his passion and intensity, which translates very well without even knowing the language.

His fans are some of the most dedicated ones you can find on every corner of the internet. From fire TikTok edits to entire X threads devoted to him. His constant underdog status has brought in an army of loyal fans. All of them eagerly wait for UFC 294, when Oliveira faces the only man who has defeated him since his daughter was born.

Does Charles Oliveira get the job done this time? Let us know in the comments.

About Post Author

Utkarsh Tiwari

An ardent follower of MMA around the world, while also being a law student gearing up for higher studies. Love to write my thoughts about various things, more often than not they are about MMA and Roman History.
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