Ahead of his home turf UFC debut against Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 142, it’s clear from his unbeaten record that Brazilian heavyweight Ednaldo Oliveira is a force to be reckoned with on the MMA scene, but who is this fighter that is taking the MMA world by storm?
Born in Brazil on February 19th 1984, the heavyweight made his MMA debut against Van Clei, winning by judge’s decision. That was in 2005 and, since then the heavyweight has gone from strength to strength heading into his first UFC appearance with an unbeaten record to his name.
While there is no doubt that his recent first round demolition of Nalzinho Novaes helped bring the Brazilian to the attention of UFC chiefs, it’s hard not to look down his impressive record and ask “what took them so long”?
Standing at an imposing six-foot five inches and weighing in at a solid 238 pounds, the Brazilian started training at the age of fourteen years old taking up Brazilian Ju-Jitsu “because it was fun”. As time went on the youngster started to take the fight game more seriously as his training turned him into a sparring partner for some of his close fighting friends.
Now a training partner for UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, Oliveira is now ranked as top MMA fighter in Brazil having also finishing second in the Brazilian Boxing Championships for the last two years. As for the future, in a recent interview with the UFC ahead of his debut, the Brazilian admits he currently has one aim for his fight career. “I’m carrying out a personal dream to make a living off fighting so I can help my parents.”
With over fifty percent of his fifteen fights ending with victory in the first round, it was only a matter of time before the big boys came knocking on his gym door and, you know what, nobody can say that the Law student from Salvador doesn’t deserve this shot at the big time and the chance to fulfill his dream.