It has been a busy two weeks for Diego Lima, the head coach of
Chute Boxe Sao Paulo.
Shortly after Charles
Oliveira’s victory over Justin
Gaethje at UFC 274 this past Saturday, Lima headed to Las Vegas
– accompanied by Oliveira – to corner fighters Allan Patrick and
Nascimento for their bouts at UFC on ESPN 36 this Saturday.
Shortly after their first sparring session on Monday, Lima gave an
exclusive interview to Sherdog.com, where he commented on the
weigh-in controversy involving Oliveira that occurred last Friday.
“Do Bronx” was stripped of the lightweight belt when he missed
weight by 0.5 pounds but regained top contender status by
Gaethje one day later.
“Since Charles went up to 155, we always go to sleep on Thursday
with the weight made. In order to not have problems with different
scale setups, this time, we didn’t bring our scale in order to
follow the official one,” Lima said. “We even published a photo on
our social media to make fans aware that Charles had already made
weight Thursday night. Considering the natural weight loss during
the night, we joked with the team that Charles would weigh 154
[pounds] the following morning.”
According to the coach, Oliveira and his team went to their room,
spent some time in the sauna and hit pads after the surprise weight
“When we returned Charles weighed [0.6 pounds] over, then he took
off his underpants and weighed [0.5 over],” Lima said. “We couldn’t
understand [what happened], and what made me really mad is that
during this entire stressful situation, Gaethje´s head coach
[Trevor Wittman], who was considered the No. 1 MMA coach in the
world, was close to us talking loudly and screaming with the
commissioners. I thought it was a total lack of respect, even
though only the fighter and his corner are allowed to be on the
scale. I´m sure the opposite would never be tolerated.”
Diego recalls that one of the most difficult moments was bringing
Charles back when they returned to the room and he saw his father
“Imagine what that means for a champion to see that after beating
all the records, training so hard and doing everything right,” Lima
said. “How you can get motivated knowing that no matter the result
of the fight, you won’t carry your belt back home, being found
guilty for a mistake that you didn’t commit. But thank God
teammates and family were enough to motivate him.”
During all the drama, Lima recalled a conversation he had with
Oliveira on Thursday morning.
“Charles told me he had a dream where God told him that the most
difficult battle would be on the scale. In the Octagon, he would
win in the first round,” Lima said. “Also, that Namajunas would
lose her belt and Gaethje would be reckless. After the weight
problem, I just thought about that. When the event was over, I was
really impressed because everything Charles said really
According to Lima, the UFC was really supportive of Oliveira during
the difficult moments they passed through.
“I have no complaints. All UFC staff gave us all support and
respected us a lot,” he said. “The fact is that, even without the
belt, Charles left UFC 274 bigger than before.”
The Chute Boxe leader revealed that Oliveira did exactly as they
had planned during the UFC 274 main event.
“We knew that Gaethje would throw his left cross and use the calf
kicks. Our goal was to keep the aggressive pace to get him on the
ground and submit him, just like Charles did.”
Lima also commented on the four potential opponents – Conor
McGregor, Islam Makhacehv, Beneil
Dariush and Michael
Chandler – that seem to be mentioned most in the aftermath of
Oliveira’s latest victory.
“McGregor, Makhachev and Beneil make sense to us, but I don’t
understand why some people are still mentioning Chandler,” Lima
said. “No doubt he is an amazing athlete. But this guy has just
four fights in UFC — two wins and two losses. It doesn’t make
sense to make that rematch now.
“Either McGregor or the winner between Makhachev and Dariush would
make sense to us.”