Charles Oliveira has a surprising gameplan for his upcoming title defense at UFC 274 against Justin Gaethje.
Oliveira is looking for his second title defense in the main event of UFC 274 on May 7 and in the lead-up to the fight, many expected the Brazilian’s game plan would be to get the fight to the ground. The champ has been dropped in his past two fights and with Gaethje having a ton of power, many think he would want to try and use his jiu-jitsu. Yet, in a recent interview, Oliveira suggested he is willing to stand and exchange shots with the challenger.
“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 said in a video by Brazilian MMA Legends. “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.”
Charles Oliveira has shown improved striking during his recent title run. He KO’d Michael Chandler on the feet and then stood toe-to-toe with Dustin Poirier before ultimately getting a hold of a submission. ‘Do Bronx’ could be planning a similar game plan for his fight against Justin Gaethje.
Regardless, Oliveira does say when the opportunity presents itself he will shoot for a takedown. But, he isn’t afraid to stand and trade with Gaethje even though ‘The Highlight’ has a ton of KO power.
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