CHICAGO — The Tim Tebow of the UFC doesn’t speak English.
His name is Charles Oliveira (15-2, 1 NC) and the back of his walkout shirt reads, “My power come from God,” who Oliveira credited with helping him scramble into a successful submission after Eric Wisely (19-6) escaped both the ankle lock and knee bar.
“God gave me the power. God showed me the way,” said Oliveira through his translator. “He helps me and gives me support and it’s my job to get that message out.”
After a lightning fast 14-0 start to his MMA career, former top prospect Oliveira dropped two of his next three fights, but he made his featherweight debut in style on the UFC on FOX 2 undercard. Oliveira successfully switched from an ankle lock to a knee bar to a calf slicer and submitted Wisely in the first round. He said he was ready for the fight to go to any position.
“I’m a professional fighter, “Oliveira said. “My gameplan is to fight standing up and to fight on the ground.”
Oliveira, who had previously fought at lightweight in the UFC, said he normally walks around at about 157 pounds so he expects to remain at 145 for the foreseeable future. He even weighed in at 144 pounds just to show that he could make the weight cut.
“This is my division now. The cut wasn’t easy, but I feel strong and I feel fast,” said Oliveira, who wants to be viewed as a true professional who makes weight every time he fights.
The win snaps a three-fight winless streak for Oliveira, but he said he didn’t feel pressure from his coaches or Dana White to win this fight. Oliveira put all the pressure on himself and refused to crumble under it. He wasn’t the only former top prospect to put on a solid performance on the undercard.