Why Charles Oliveira is the UFC’s Dark Horse

Why Charles Oliveira is the UFC’s Dark Horse

Charles Oliveira has all the makings of a breakout star in the UFC’s Lightweight Division. A true submission artist, with 18 of his 21 wins coming by way of submission, he has been called The Eraser for his nasty guillotine choke, which he used to finish off his UFC debut against Andy Ogle in just 50 seconds.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – MAY 15: Charles Oliveira celebrates defeating Michael Chandler during their Championship Lightweight Bout of UFC 262 at Toyota Center on May 15, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Fight Style

Despite his young age, 26-year-old Brazilian fighter, Charles Oliveira, has been around for a while. He made his debut in 2007 and has been fighting ever since. Like any fighter, he has had his ups and downs but most recently had his best performance of his career by defeating Nik Lentz at UFC 218 this past December. One thing that sets him apart from some of the other fighters in the lightweight division is that he has always fought as a featherweight or lightweight. This means that he usually weighs much less than other fighters who are a similar height and weight class to him which gives him an advantage when it comes to speed and power.

Future in the Featherweight Division

Charles Oliveira, at one point on a six-fight win streak, was poised to be a major contender in the featherweight division. But after dropping two consecutive losses to Ricardo Lamas and Nik Lentz, his future in the division became unclear. But now that he’s back on a four-fight win streak with three stoppages during that span, all of a sudden his future looks very bright. And despite being just 24 years old, he may have already peaked as an elite fighter.

Who Should He Fight Next?

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of a dark horse in MMA is someone who has been dormant for a while, but then comes out and shocks everyone. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen one of those types of fighters, but it looks like we might finally have one on our hands with Charles Oliveira. After being cut from the UFC following his third loss in five fights back in 2013, he went out and won nine consecutive fights outside of the organization. And now that he’s back, he’s fighting some tough competition, defeating Joe Lauzon at UFC 200 and then submitting Nik Lentz at this past Saturday night’s Fight Night event.

Next up for him should be against Max Holloway at featherweight or Frankie Edgar at lightweight.

Prediction for Next Fight

Charles Oliveira, who recently lost a tough split decision to Will Brooks, has been on a tear of late. He has won three of his last four fights and was unlucky not to get two more victories in that span.

Oliveira is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with a penchant for submissions and the ability to throw punches from any angle. His submission wins over Nik Lentz and Myles Jury are testament to that.

If he can avoid getting knocked out, which he usually does well, he should be able to pick up another victory against another top-10 lightweight like Bobby Green or Josh Thomson in his next fight.

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