Charles Oliveira returns to UFC action this Sunday as he squares off with Nik Lentz. Oliveira stormed his way into the UFC, submitting both Darren Elkins and Efrain Escudero in stunning fashion. Yet, he enters this bout after having suffered the first loss of his professional career, a first-round kneebar submission to Jim Miller at UFC 124.
Oliveira returns to action at UFC on Versus 4 this Sunday, June 26. We had the chance to talk to Oliveira via email exchange, so we wanted to ask him about how he handled the loss, whether he's worried about the smothering style of Nik Lentz and much more.
With the help of writers across SB Nation's various MMA properties, we constructed a list of questions for Oliveira. Here they are in their entirety along with his responses:
SB Nation: Where'd your nickname come from?
Charles Oliveira: Do Bronx means neighbor. They use to say there is the kid from the neighborhood.
SB Nation: How did having to fight two or three times in one night help or hinder your advancement in the game?
Charles Oliveira: In Brazil you can only fight when 18, it let me build my record very quick. You do have to fight different when you might have to fight three times in one night. I really like fighting just one time a night, this lets you do more things.
SB Nation: Could you make 145lbs? Have you thought about fighting in the featherweight division?
Charles Oliveira: Maybe when I was 18 or 19 [years old]. I have grown taller and started to add mass.
SB Nation: Before the UFC, who was the toughest opponent you fought on the Brazilian circuit? Diego Braga, Eduardo Pachu?
Charles Oliveira: The Brazilian circuit is very different. There are no easy fights, every gym only puts in there best guys to fight. A lot of people don't know, but most Brazilian fighters have a lot more fights then what is on Sherdog.com. I even have two fights that do not show up there and other sites.
Both Diego and Eduardo are very good, Eduardo is very good striking.
SB Nation: What are the reasons you've been able to become so comfortable with both striking and submissions? Do you prefer one more than the other?
Charles Oliveira: I am a MMA fighter. I like both. I have been training my striking very hard. I want to get KO of the Night in my UFC career soon.
SB Nation: Can you explain more about the "Bronx Gold Team" and its members besides Jorge "Macaco" Patino?
Charles Oliveira: Macaco is the head of Gold Team. Gold Team has fighter in Brazil, USA, Poland, Finland, and Japan. They are all very good. Flavio Alvaro is the three times Rio Heroes champ fighting vale tudo sometimes three times in one night. Luiz Alzeredo has a win over Anderson Silva and has fought in Pride. Also Gold Team has a lot of young guys coming up, in Houston they have Jose Santenbanez 10-3.
SB Nation: Are there any fighters that inspire you? Whose style do you try to emulate?
Charles Oliveira: I am a big fan of the sport and love watching and learning. Macaco is number one. He always makes for an exciting fight.
SB Nation: How has fighting in the UFC changed your lifestyle?
Charles Oliveira: Not much, but I did buy a computer. But I am the same I like being with my family and my girlfriend and train jiu-jitsu.
SB Nation: Compared to a sport like soccer, how popular is MMA in Brazil?
Charles Oliveira: Oh, soccer way more popular, but MMA is catching up
SB Nation: Do you think learning English is beneficial to your popularity in the U.S.?
Charles Oliveira: I am still working on my English very hard.
SB Nation: How does the loss to Jim Miller affect how your views of your career?
Charles Oliveira: Everyone loses. The loss has made me train 100 times harder then I have ever have. A win does not do that.
SB Nation: Are you worried the grinding style of Nik Lentz will stifle offense and make for a lackluster fight?
Charles Oliveira: Nik is a great wrestler and a great striker, I will have to deal with that! But I do know one thing I can stop for sure: his boring style. When we fight he is going to have to keep up with me. I have fun when I fight, and I am going to have a lot of crazy moves. He will have to deal with it in exciting fashion. He will not slow me down, I am always looking for a finish. The fight is going to be exciting.
SB Nation: What's your prediction for the main event: Rick Story vs. Nate Marquardt? What about Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry?
Charles Oliveira: I like Nate and Pat.
SB Nation: Provided you win, is there an opponent you have your eye on? Is there a fight card - a pay-per-view, Fight Night - you'd prefer to be on?
Charles Oliveira: I would like to fight in Brazil.
SB Nation: To what extent do you believe American wrestling fairly or unfairly dominates current professional MMA?
Charles Oliveira: I do not think UFC gives wrestling of the night bonus.
SB Nation: Do you believe the closed guard is dead in MMA?
Charles Oliveira: Oh no, my friend.
Charles Oliveira can be contacted on Twitter: @C_Oliveira_UFC