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|It's a wrap: Charles Oliveira's jiu-jitsu skills came in handy against Nik Lentz.|
Lightweight prospect Charles Oliveira earned “Fight of the night” honors at Sunday’s UFC Live 4, but there’s a good chance his submission win over Nik Lentz may not stand.
After a blistering first frame which saw both men nearly finish, the Brazilian struck a kneeling Lentz with a clearly illegal knee to the face before submitting him with a second-round rear-naked choke. UFC President Dana White wrote on Twitter immediately afterward that the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission would review the tape and possibly reverse the result to a no-contest.
Speaking Monday with Sherdog.com, “Charles do Bronx” apologized for the foul and guaranteed that it was never his intention to cheat, especially in a fight that he felt he was already in control of.
“He wasn’t knocked out by the knee,” Oliveira told Sherdog.com. “He got hit, but kept fighting, grabbed my legs, and only after the second knee landed did he let me climb on his back to submit him. The move was in the heat of the fight. I didn’t intend to use it to my advantage. I was winning the second round the same way I won the first. I’m confident the commission won’t declare it a no-contest. It was a mistake on the referee’s part. The result is in their hands, but, for now, I’m the winner, and I’m OK with that.”
Following Sunday’s bout at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, the 21-year-old Paulistano paid a visit to Lentz in the hospital, where the American reportedly underwent surgery to repair a broken orbital bone caused by the illegal knee. Afterward, Oliveira spoke with UFC Matchmaker Joe Silva, who praised his performance against the previously Octagon-unbeaten “Carny.”
“Joe Silva said I was brilliant,” Oliveira revealed. “He said for the UFC, I was the winner, but the Pennsylvania commission opted to review the tape. I’m frustrated, because that moment took the luster off my performance and turned the attention to something else.”
Oliveira, who trains under Brazilian vale tudo legend Jorge Patino “Macaco,” attributed his strong performance to the hard work he put in following his first career loss to Jim Miller in December.
“Only I know how hard I trained. I left my family, my girlfriend, and the people I love in Brazil to train in the United States with ‘Macaco’ five or six times a day,” said Oliveira. “I practiced everything, from my BJJ to wrestling, judo and muay Thai. I rested only two days after my loss to Jim Miller. I’m happy with my performance, but sad because I couldn’t dedicate this victory to the Brazilian people the way I wanted.”
For now, Oliveira can only wait and hope for a decision in his favor by the PSAC. However, he also has eyes on a new fight, one that he believes could put him closer to the top of the UFC’s deep 155-pound division.
“I’m not far from a title shot,” Oliveira asserted. “I think if I had defeated Jim Miller, I’d be really close to it, but I’m not in a hurry. I think I’m in the right weight class, fighting well, and the crowd and UFC executives like my fighting style, and it will happen someday. I’m working hard not only during training, but also studying English to talk to the crowd and respond by myself during interviews. Maybe if I win two or three more fights, I can get a title shot.”
The PSAC is expected to make a ruling on the outcome later this week.