01 Jan Charles Oliveira’s head coach unable to corner him at UFC 256 after testing positive for COVID-19
Charles Oliveira won’t have his longtime head coach Diego Lima in his corner at UFC 256 after Lima tested positive for COVID-19 days before flying from Sao Paulo to Abu Dhabi, the UFC announced.
“Do Bronx” enters one of the biggest fights of his career Saturday, co-headlining the pay-per-view card opposite former interim champion Tony Ferguson at the UFC APEX on Dec. 12, and the Chute Boxe leader said he “couldn’t believe” when he was informed of the diagnosis.
“Since I had no symptoms, and at the same time we’re all excited for a fight we asked so much for, we can’t even believe when something like this happens,” Lima told UFC.com. “I did other tests, but they came back positive too, so there was no other way out.”
Lima says he “immediately” informed his protege of the test result, and Oliveira also couldn’t believe it.
“Don’t worry,” Lima says he told Oliveira. “Focus on the fight, focus on the goal. God knows all things and whatever has to be, it will be. We will respect it, we will believe it, and we will go for the win no matter what.”
Lima told MMA Fighting that Oliveira will be cornered by MMA veteran Jorge Patino “Macaco” and Gia Santos.
Oliveira (29-8, 1 no-contest) hopes to earn a shot at the lightweight belt with a victory over Ferguson, which would boost his winning streak to eight after stopping the likes of Kevin Lee, Jared Gordon, Nik Lentz and David Teymur since June 2018.
UFC 256 will be headlined by a flyweight championship showdown between Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno, who agreed to a 21-day turnaround following UFC 255 wins over Alex Perez and Brandon Royval, respectively.