Charles Oliveira is not done fighting at 145 pounds.
The Brazilian talent, who missed weight four times in 12 featherweight bouts under the UFC banner, is moving up to lightweight at UFC 210 to take on former Bellator champion Will Brooks on Saturday night.
And even though Oliveira admits that lightweight will be his division again in the future, he wants to go back to featherweight after UFC 210.
"We will fight at 155 now, and after this I’ll sit down with my team and manager to decide,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting. "My focus is on this fight at lightweight now, and then we will see what we’ll do. I believe that 145 is the best division for me, but it’s not up to me anymore. I have a great team around me, so we’ll talk about it. But I do think it’s better for me to fight at 145."
Oliveira admits that competing at 155 pounds is better for his body, as he feels stronger ahead of UFC 210.
"I believe everybody feels better when they don’t cut too much weight,” Oliveira said. "It’s always better for your body. It affects your performance. I will be better, stronger and with more cardio (at 155). For sure, this fight will be different than when I fought at 145, where I have to work harder in the weight cut. For this (fight at 155), it’s not that necessary."
So why is he insisting on going back to featherweight after facing Brooks?
"Because I found myself fighting better at 145,” Oliveira explained. "I do think that I will have to go back to 155 in the future. I’ll get older, it will be tougher to cut the weight, but right now, 145 is still better for me. There are a lot of things for me there.
"Max Holloway, I know I can beat him. Everybody knows I got injured in the fight. Anthony Pettis, he’s a really tough fighter and it was a close fight until I made a mistake and gave him the neck. Frankie Edgar, it was a big fight that I know I lost. My last fight, Ricardo Lamas, I made a mistake again."
"I know I can beat everyone that defeated me,” he continued. "Anything can happen in this division. It’s a good division for me. I want to defeat Will Brooks now and go back against a top-five (featherweight), someone like Lamas. I want to fight at featherweight and become champion there.”
Oliveira’s plans for the future depend on his performance at UFC 210. With his back against the wall following submission losses to Lamas and Anthony Pettis, and a 1-3 run over his last four bouts, the Brazilian knows he’s about to take on a dangerous lightweight at UFC 210.
"I’m thrilled with this fight,” Oliveira said. "He’s a tough opponent. This time we took the fight with proper time to prepare, and I felt better every day in the gym. I feel better with my striking and my wrestling, and my jiu-jitsu has more pressure now. I feel stronger, too. Everything is working, so I’m more motivated, happier. I can’t wait to make weight and have my hands raised in the end."
Competing at UFC 210 will be a mix of emotions for the Brazilian, too. There’s a chance that Talita, his wife, will give birth to their first daughter, Tayla, on April 8, the day of the fight.
“Thrilled with this new phase of his life,” Oliveira expects to put on a show against Brooks and then return to Brazil to meet his daughter for the first time.
"My strategy in the fight will be the same: be aggressive all the time,” Oliveira said. "My jiu-jitsu is tighter this time. I think he will try to use his hands, he has a good boxing, and take me down. He’s a strategist, so I think this fight will be a clash os styles. He won’t change his game much, and I’ll try to show the I’m better standing and on the ground. It will be a great fight."