UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira has shut down the narrative that he should avoid a stand-up war with Justin Gaethje at UFC 274, telling Brazilian MMA Legends that he plans to ‘exchange blows’ with ‘The Highlight’ from the opening bell.
‘Do Bronx’ wants to prove that he is one of the most well-rounded and versatile fighters in the UFC and that he is more than willing to showcase his power against one of the most feared strikers in the division on May 7.
“I’m going as Charles, MMA fighter. People who think, ‘Aah, Charles is going to be desperate to take it to the ground.’ Forget it,” Oliveira, who has the most finishes in UFC history, said (h/t BJPenn.com). “In all the times I’ve fought, I’ve never despaired of taking someone to the ground. I’m an MMA fighter. I’m a complete fighter. The fight will start standing. I’ll exchange blows with the guy. When there is an opportunity to take it to the ground, I will try to take it to the ground. When there’s an opportunity to stand on the grid and wrestle, I’ll wrestle with him. I train wrestling too. I’m not a fool. I’m not.”
The Brazilian is on a ten-fight win streak in one of the most talent-stacked divisions in the UFC and will look to stake his claim as one of the greatest lightweight champions in the promotion’s history with a win over Gaethje next Saturday.
UFC 274: Oliveira vs. Gaethje takes place May 7 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.