UFC 289 marked a return to form for the guy known as "do Bronx." Oliveira needed just one round against rising top contender Beneil Dariush to end the opponent's eight-fight winning streak.
The former UFC lightweight champion dropped and pummelling out Dariush for the TKO after a lengthy, grappling-heavy couple of minutes in the middle of the round. A head kick signalled the end for Dariush.
The victory marked Oliveira's comeback performance following his lone loss to Islam Makhachev in his previous 13 matches. Oliveira has been consistently written off throughout his extraordinary career, and he faced Dariush as the underdog.
Oliveira looked exactly as strong as he did during his run to the title and silenced many sceptics, including Makhachev coach Javier Mendez.
“I for sure did not think Charles was gonna be that impressive in victory. I didn’t think he was gonna be able to do it like he did. I thought a great performance was gonna put him in the talks [for a title shot] but I bypassed that. Maybe it’s because I wanted Beneil to win, I don’t know. But I should not have underestimated how great he is as a champion.”
“I feel that in my opinion, Charles has earned the right to be No. 1 in line for it. What the UFC feels is different, but from what I see, I don’t see how [it isn’t Oliveira]. Do I think he’s done enough? Yeah, I think he has.”