Vancouver, Canada — It didn’t take long for Charles Oliveira to prove that he remains one of the biggest threats in the UFC’s lightweight division on Saturday.
“Do Bronx” finished Beneil Dariush with ground n’ pound inside of a round in the co-main event in Vancouver, British Columbia, with the response from Canadian fans downright massive despite the Brazilian having previously lost all four of his fights in the country.
Immediately after the win, talk turned to a rematch between Oliveira (34-9, 1NC) and champ Islam Makhachev, who defeated him for the UFC lightweight championship last October. It’s a fight that was promised to Dariush; having vanquished Beneil, the match-up seems to make sense for Charles as well.
“Who’s got the belt? He’s got the belt. And I want to be a champion, so I have to go through him. Of course I want to fight him, but right now, I don’t want to worry about it.” Instead, Oliveira said following the fight, he wants to go back home to spend time with his family, and let his team worry about plotting their next move.
The aftermath of Saturday’s win was clearly an emotional moment for Oliveira, that much was painted on his face.
“This is a movie that went through my head. I know that the majority of my losses have been here [in Canada]. So for me to actually be here and have a standing ovation — everybody was just standing and applauding me and cheering — it was just an amazing feeling,” Oliveira explained. “I usually try to keep my composure, just keep going, focus on the fight. But I let my emotions get me because it was so amazing. It felt like I was in the community, it felt like I was actually back at home. As a Brazilian, it felt like I was not miles and miles from home. And afterwards, to win here after so many losses, even with the losses they were applauding me even with that.”
“Afterwards, I just let it go. It’s something I’m never going to forget in my life,” he added.
Watch the full UFC 289 post-fight press conference appearance by Charles Oliveira above.