UFC 274: Charles Oliveira expects a firefight against Justin Gaethje

  • Tom Ward

UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira said fans will get to see his ability to cope with an all-out battle when he goes toe to toe with Justin Gaethje on Saturday night.

The Brazilian will look to register the second successful defence of his 155lb belt against former interim champion Gaethje, who will be hoping it will be second time lucky having come up short against Khabib Nurmagomedov on his first attempt.

Gaethje is expected by many to be the toughest test of Oliveira’s championship credentials to date, but ‘Do Bronx’ said he will use the question mark hanging over his head as the perfect motivation to prove the doubters wrong and show the world why he is the real deal at 155 pounds.

And while Gaethje has a tendency to stand and bang, Oliveira insists he will be happy to meet him in the middle of the octagon in the main event of UFC 274.

Oliveira, 33, said: “Listen, [Gaethje] is a truck. He only moves forward; I only move forward. So there’s definitely going to be a collision, definitely going to be a clash.

“I’m not a jiu-jitsu fighter anymore. I’m a complete MMA fighter. I want everyone to know. It seems like guys are not getting the picture.

“I didn’t come here to be a champion one time. I came here to make history, to build my legacy, to never be forgotten. I’m here on a mission.

“I’m different. I’m chosen. I’m different.

Charles Oliveira is the reigning UFC lightweight champion

“God chose me to do this for a living and I’m different than everyone else in my weight class.”

Gaethje has been rather outspoken in the build-up to his scheduled bout against Oliveira, as he branded the Brazilian as a ‘coward’ while declaring he will make him quit.

But Oliveira insists he isn’t paying him any attention as he is prepared to let his fists do the talking.

He added: “Guys, you’ll see when I fight. He fought a guy for three rounds. I knocked him out with my left hand.

“So whatever the hype is, whatever the talk is, I don’t listen to it. The champion is Charles Oliveira, and it’s going to stay this way.

Charles Oliveira holds the record for the most submission wins in UFC history

“Listen, to each their own. People approach fights differently – people talk, people don’t like to talk.

“If I liked to talk, I’d bring a parrot up here instead of myself. I let my fight do my talking for me.

“He can say whatever he wants. It does not bother me. I’m only worried about what I’m going to do in the fight.”

Unsurprisingly, Oliveira is well aware of his opponent’s skillset, but believes he is better than him in every area of MMA.

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He continued: “Look guys, he’s improved his striking even better.

“He’s got great wrestling. He’s a complete fighter. He’s a high-level fighter.

“Complete wrestling, great skills, great boxing.

“But I’m really not concerned or have been paying attention to his evolution.

“I’m way more focused on what my evolution is and how much I’ve gotten better.”

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