Inside the Mind of Charles Oliveira: The Psychological Challenge Before the UFC 300

Charles Oliveira's pursuit of the lightweight title takes an unexpected turn, presenting him with a formidable opponent in Arman Tsarukyan and a crucial opportunity for redemption

by Sededin Dedovic
Inside the Mind of Charles Oliveira: The Psychological Challenge Before the UFC 300
© Carmen Mandato / Getty Images

In the world of mixed martial arts, fighters often face unforeseen challenges that can change the trajectory of their careers. Charles Oliveira, the Brazilian lightweight powerhouse, found himself in a rather unfortunate situation, missing out on a shot at the coveted lightweight title.

Let's delve into the circumstances that unfolded and explore how Oliveira's upcoming match against Arman Tsarukyan could be the key to his redemption. Of course, the opponent is very serious and full of strength, and for the Brazilian, only victory plays a role in order to return to the attack for the belt that he held for a short time.

Oliveira was originally scheduled to fight for the lightweight title against Islam Makhachev last October. However, fate took a turn for the worse just ten days before the scheduled fight when Oliveira suffered a cut above his eye, forcing him to withdraw.

Although he said at the beginning that he would be able to perform, the UFC did not pay much attention to it, so he found a replacement. The void left by Oliveira was quickly filled by Alexander Volkanovski in short order, further delaying Oliveira's championship quest.

Volkanovski accepted the fight only 2 weeks before the match and ended up losing to Makhachev. It was a dominant victory for the reigning champion who knocked out Volkanovski in the first round of the match.

Expected return

Despite the setback, hope remained that Oliveira would get another shot at the title in the coming months.

Unfortunately, fate had other plans as Oliveira found himself booked for his match against the dangerous Arman Tsarukyan at the UFC 300 event. This unexpected turn of events presented a unique challenge for Oliveira, as a victory over Tsarukyan would be crucial for him to retain his lightweight title fight.

Arman Tsarukyan© Handout / Getty Images

Arman Tsarukyan's wrestling prowess and physical strength posed a significant threat to Oliveira. A loss to Tsarukyan would not only distance Oliveira from another title shot, but would certainly "kill" his much-needed self-confidence against elite opponents.

Importantly, this match could set him up for a potential rematch with Makhachev, a match Oliveira would likely want to approach with newfound confidence. But even if Tsarukyan wins, we must admit that he will get a fully deserved opportunity to win the belt and become a champion.

Psychological battle

While the physical aspect of the fight is the most important, the mental toughness of the fighter that we talked about is just as crucial. Henry Cejudo, a former UFC two-division champion, assessed Oliveira's mental strength, suggesting that seeking the help of a sports psychologist might be beneficial.

The psychological aspect of athletes, especially martial arts, is often underestimated. "He will lose his composure and composure. That's happened to him before, you know? Whenever Charles Oliveira is in trouble, it shows clearly.

I believed he had put it behind him, but even he himself admitted that he lost his composure in the match against Islam Makhachev. These are things to be careful with, and I think a sports psychologist could really help him.

He would teach him how to stay calm while going through difficult situations in matches,'' Cejudo explained via the YouTube channel.

Past reviews and mental toughness

Charles Oliveira has faced criticism from fellow fighters, including Justin Gaethje, who, like Cejudo, questioned his mental toughness.

Gaethje, before their clash, highlighted Oliveira's perceived breaking point under pressure. However, Oliveira silenced the doubters by finishing Gaethje in the first round. Despite his resilience, doubts resurfaced after the match with Makhachev, fueling debate about Oliveira's mental strength.

Charles Oliveira, Justin Geathje© Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Oliveira, known as "Do Bronx," has a history of coming back from rock bottom. His path is marked by resilience and determination, and the upcoming confrontation with Tsarukyan presents an opportunity for redemption.

That fight will prove to fellow fighters and critics that he has the mental strength needed to navigate the lightweight division. Sam said that he is disappointed because he will not have a match against Makhachev, but he also said that he is preparing the hardest so far and that he has to get that belt back.

His team is almost the same as in the preparations for matches so far, with his desire and good cooperation with long-term coaches, we will have to take the former champion at his word. It was from his staff that Makhachev was accused a few days ago of rejecting the match with Oliveira.

Oliveira's coach, Diego Lima, is convinced of this, as he told MMA Fighting: "I don't want to cause any controversy. Makhachev is a great fighter, but I don't think he wants a rematch with Charles. He wants to get out of this fight in any way possible, but there's nowhere else to run.

If 'Do Bronx' beats Tsarukyan, there's end of story".
As Charles Oliveira gears up for the challenges ahead, the stakes are higher than ever. The outcome of this fight could reshape Oliveira's career and path to the lightweight title.

Charles Oliveira