Vancouver, Canada — Charles Oliveira still has not watched his losing performance against Islam Makhachev from UFC 280 last October.
Fact is, he may never watch it. That wasn’t himself fighting that night, the former champ believes. The feeling ahead of his return to action at UFC 289 this Saturday, meanwhile, is vastly different.
It’s not a situation “Do Bronx” had ever encountered previously, he told Cageside Press during Wednesday’s UFC 289 media day.
“Never in my life. I’ve never had that feeling,” said Oliveira (33-9, 1NC). “For all of you that are real fans of mine, that admire what I do, did you see 10% of me in there at all?”
The fight ended in a decisive submission by Makhachev in about a round and a half, so we honestly couldn’t say we did.
“That’s it. I wasn’t there. Sometimes you have no way of explaining, you don’t understand why things are happening. There’s a purpose for things happening or not happening, but I wasn’t there.”
Asked whether he might have been feeling burned out on fighting, Oliveira, who noted earlier on Wednesday that he took time off to be with family after the loss, replied by saying “I don’t know. It just wasn’t me. How many times have you seen me get knocked down and get back up? How many times have you seen me bullied and come back?”
“He is a great fighter, all respect to him. He’s a warrior,” Oliveira said of the man who took his world title. “But I have not watched it, I’m not going to watch it. Simply, it wasn’t me.”
The feeling ahead of UFC 289, where Oliveira faces Beneil Dariush, appears to be night and day different.
“Sincerely, I’m hungry. I’m happy. Everybody that sees me sees how happy I am to be here. I’m hungry, I’m going to go after this guy,” Oliveira told Cageside Press. “I have all the respect in the world for him, but I’m going to go after him.”
“I’m going to hunt him all the time,” the Brazilian lightweight added. “You want a war? War has come.”
The winner of Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush, the co-main event at UFC 289, is expected to fight for the UFC lightweight championship next.
Watch the full UFC 289 media day appearance by Charles Oliveira above.