Oliveira and Lentz first fought at UFC on Versus 4 in 2011, when the Brazilian had his submission victory overturned to a no-contest by the athletic commission due to an illegal knee. Three years later, now as featherweights, "Do Bronx" and "The Carnie" were matched up against each other one more time, but Oliveira has fallen ill hours before UFC Fight Night 50.
Exactly 1435 days after their first encounter, Oliveira and Lentz will meet in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 67 in Goiania, Brazil, on Saturday night. "Do Bronx" will use his long history with Lentz as extra motivation to enter the Octagon and defeat him.
"I’m not angry at him, but this fight should have happened a long time ago," Oliveira told MMAFighting.com. "He talks too much, and that spices things up. I trained more than ever for this fight. I’m focused, I’m hungry, and fighting him in Brazil will be even better."
Oliveira originally tapped Lentz with a rear-naked choke, but the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission overturned the result after reviewing the bout, citing an illegal knee landed by the Brazilian.
"Do Bronx" admits he landed the knee, but doesn’t believe it changed the outcome of the bout.
"I was already winning the fight, and they changed it to a no-contest because of the things he said after the fight," Oliveira said. "The knee really happened. He was moving back up but went back down, and that’s when the knee landed. But he continued to fight. He got back up and there was no blood or cut. I landed the second knee and continue to hit him, took his back and finished him. (The commission) made a mistake by making it a no-contest."
A lot has changed since that fight. Oliveira and Lentz now compete at 145 pounds, and the Brazilian is entering the co-main event coming off three straight victories, a pair of submissions over Andy Ogle and Hatsu Hioki, and a unanimous decision against Jeremy Stephens.
Oliveira and Lentz are ranked at Nos. 8 and 9 in the UFC featherweight division, respectively, and "Do Bronx" hopes to enter the top five of the division after Saturday night’s fight.
"I was bouncing between wins and losses and found myself in this new division," Oliveira said. "I’m focused on becoming the best in the world, and it is happening. I defeated three great opponents. This is my time."