Charles Oliveira took the longest road of any UFC fighter before winning a championship, and we can only represent what he’s been feeling since Saturday night – especially now that he’s returned to the favela where he grew up in Brazil.
“Do Bronx,” in his 28th UFC fight and nearly 11 years later with the promotion, claimed the vacant lightweight title less than 48 hours ago with a second-round TKO of Michael Chandler in the UFC 262 main event at Toyota Center in Houston.
On Monday, Oliveira arrived in his hometown of Guaruja, Sao Paulo with his UFC belt in hand and received a hero’s welcome from the locals before hopping on a fire truck to parade through town, which you can see in the videso below:
“It’s been complete madness, everything that’s happened,” Oliveira told ESPN. “I’m really happy and very grateful. I expected a good reception, but it went down in a way I never imagined it would. It was 10 times better than what I was thinking.”
Oliveira said the welcome happened organically. People witnessed his impressive feat and word of mouth gathered everyone to welcome Oliveira back to Guaruja. The 31-year-old champion thinks it’s his trajectory in MMA that got people ecstatic about his big win.
“It’s my story, my story, my story – because people really wanted that,” Oliveira said. “Without a doubt, people wanted that to be part of my story. They wanted me to win. My story is the big difference here.”