Charles Oliveira is nearly blind when he takes off his glasses, but that hasn’t stopped the reigning UFC lightweight champion from becoming one of the very best fighters in the world today.
You may have noticed throughout each and every fight week involving Oliveira that “Do Bronx” walks around with his patented glasses. Those are not for show and certainly something that Oliveira needs for everyday life. But when he steps inside of the cage those glasses are removed and Oliveira is fighting with impaired vision.
How bad is it? Well, Oliveira explained in a recent interview with Flow podcast that his eyesight is so compromised that he actually sees three fighters at once. Oliveira has been able to adjust in order to land his own offense and defend counter shots in the process, but the entire thing is pretty bizarre.
“I see three [faces]. If I hit the middle one, that’s fine,” said Oliveira. “I think keep this same technique. Three guys for me is perfect. If I hit the one in the middle, it’s good. I’ll tell you the truth, I’m a guy who has a lot of faith in God and it’s no joke. If I take my glasses off, I only see 50 per cent but it never hindered me in a fight.”
This is fascinating to say the least. One of the very best fighters in the world who happens to reign over the deepest division in all of MMA sees three fighters at once when he competes. It’s wild to think what Oliveira would be able to do inside of the cage if his vision was fixed and had one fighter to target. Maybe he’s adapted so much that this way of fighting works better than the normal way with perfect vision.
“It never hindered me in a fight. Sometimes I walk in without the glasses, sometimes I walk in with the glasses. It depends on my vibe. Sometimes I like to walk in with glasses to look harmless and more nerdy than I already am. And when I take my glasses off, it’s normal, I can see my opponent on the other side. God blesses me so much that I can see normal. But on the streets, if I take them off, I’m blind.”
Oliveira, who won the UFC lightweight title with a TKO win over Michael Chandler at UFC 262 in May 2021, is coming off a submission finish and his first title defense against Dustin Poirier at UFC 269. While Justin Gaethje seems to be next in line for a 155-pound title shot “Do Bronx” is making a big push to score a massive Red Panty Night payday against Conor McGregor later this year.
It is unknown what will be next for the champion, but Oliveira better keep his eyesight in check if he wants to hold onto his lightweight belt.