Charles Oliveira

Charles Oliveira: The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Master Who Became UFC Lightweight Champion

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In the heart of Brazil, where the spirit of martial arts runs deep, a remarkable fighter emerged from obscurity to become a household name in mixed martial arts (MMA). Charles Oliveira, a third-degree black belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, transcended his humble beginnings to claim the coveted title of UFC Lightweight Champion. This article delves into the life, career, and fighting style of this Brazilian warrior who has left an indelible mark on the sport.

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Early Life and Career

Charles Oliveira was born on October 17, 1989, in Guarujá, São Paulo, Brazil. From a young age, he was drawn to martial arts. Oliveira embarked on his journey by training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, where he exhibited an exceptional aptitude for the discipline. He quickly rose through the ranks, accumulating multiple championship titles and earning himself a third-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

A dazzling debut marked Oliveira’s transition to professional MMA in 2007 in March 2008. In his early career, he proved to be a force to be reckoned with, winning his first 12 fights, 11 of them by submission, showcasing his mastery of Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques.

In 2010, Oliveira made his much-anticipated debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Although he secured victories in his first four fights in the promotion, he faced several setbacks. Despite these challenges, Oliveira’s unwavering determination would eventually catapult him to the summit of the UFC Lightweight division.

Rise to the Top

Oliveira’s ascent to the top began in 2018 when he embarked on a remarkable winning streak. Throughout eight consecutive fights, he dispatched formidable opponents, including former champions Anthony Pettis and Kevin Lee. This impressive run culminated in a shot at the vacant UFC Lightweight Championship.

In May 2021, Oliveira faced off against Michael Chandler in a title that would change the course of his career. Despite a challenging contest, Oliveira emerged victorious in the second round, winning by submission and securing the UFC Lightweight Championship.

Oliveira squared off against Dustin Poirier for his first title defense in December 2021. In another electrifying display of his submission prowess, he successfully retained his title by submitting Poirier in the third round.

Loss of the Title

Charles Oliveira’s reign as the UFC Lightweight Champion was challenging. In May 2023, he was scheduled to defend his title against Islam Makhachev at UFC 274. However, Oliveira encountered a major setback as he failed to make the required weight, resulting in the forfeiture of his title. Makhachev was declared the new champion.

Fighting Style

Charles Oliveira is celebrated for his aggressive and submission-oriented fighting style, which stems from his extensive background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. His proficiency in jiu-jitsu is renowned, with Oliveira having submitted more opponents than any other fighter in UFC history. Additionally, Oliveira possesses well-rounded striking skills and solid takedown defence. However, his striking abilities do not shine as brightly as his jiu-jitsu mastery.


Charles Oliveira’s legacy is firmly established as one of the most exciting and dangerous fighters in the UFC Lightweight division. He is a former champion and holds the record for submitting more opponents than any fighter in the promotion’s history.

At 34 years old, Oliveira still has many years of fighting left in him. Despite relinquishing his title, he remains one of the top contenders in the division, and the MMA world eagerly awaits his next chapter in the octagon.

FAQs about Charles Oliveira

Q: What is Charles Oliveira’s background in martial arts?

A: Charles Oliveira is a third-degree black belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, and he began his martial arts journey with training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Q: How did Charles Oliveira rise to the top of the UFC Lightweight division?

A: Oliveira’s journey to the top involved a remarkable winning streak, securing victories over former champions and ultimately claiming the UFC Lightweight Championship.

Q: What is Charles Oliveira’s fighting style?

A: Oliveira is known for his aggressive and submission-oriented fighting style, with a particular emphasis on his jiu-jitsu skills.

Q: What is Charles Oliveira’s legacy in the UFC?

A: Charles Oliveira is celebrated as one of the most exciting and dangerous fighters in the UFC Lightweight division, and he holds the record for submitting more opponents than any other fighter in UFC history.

Q: What is the significance of Charles Oliveira’s loss of the UFC Lightweight title in 2023?

A: Charles Oliveira’s loss of the title resulted from failing to make weight for a title defense, marking a pivotal moment in his career.

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