Charles Oliveira was ‘in hospital for TWO YEARS’ and told he ‘may never walk again’ when he was nine… now the Brazilian is sprinting towards UFC gold in his huge fight with Michael Chandler
- Charles Oliveira will fight Michael Chandler for the lightweight title at UFC 262
- Brazilian has had to overcome incredible adversity to reach the top of his sport
- Rheumatoid arthritis attacked his ankles and he was hospitalised as a child
- There were fears he may not walk properly again but his condition was cured
Charles Oliveira’s parents were once told their son might never walk again.
As a child, the Brazilian, who takes on Michael Chandler for the UFC lightweight title this weekend, suffered with abnormal heart murmurs and rheumatoid arthritis.
It was devastating for the football-mad youngster, who was effectively hospitalised for two years.
Charles Oliveira overcame the odds to become a UFC star having been told he may not walk
The Brazilian’s mother, Ozana (left), refused to give up hope when her son was hospitalised
He told MMA Fighting: ‘I was hospitalised for two years and doctors told my mom I couldn’t do sports anymore. It sucked because I couldn’t leave.
Oliveira’s mother Ozana added: ‘When [the doctor] said my son had a condition and he may never walk again, I said I believed that God wouldn’t let that happen. But that was a serious condition in his ankle, he couldn’t move it.
‘I slept on the hospital floor by his bed. I woke up at five in the morning to work and then went back to the hospital. Sometimes I went one month without going home, just going from the hospital to work and back.’
Oliveira was 11 when he could finally leave the hospital but still had to be given injections twice a week and was advised to stay away from strenuous physical activity.
But his father Francisco proudly added: ‘He started training jiu-jitsu two months after he left the hospital and he won a local championship two months later.
‘When we went back to the doctor’s office and the doctor said we couldn’t do it, Charles had two gold medals already.’
Oliveira continued receiving the injections up until the age of 18 when he no longer suffered with any problems in his limbs, which were being used as weapons instead when he made his MMA debut.
The 31-year-old defeated Tony Ferguson in his last encounter and is favourite this weekend
Two years later he was making his debut in the UFC and has grown into a man under the blazing octagon spotlight.
Eight victories in a row and 27 fights within the organisation have earned the 31-year-old a shot at glory.
He enters Saturday’s showdown in Houston as the narrow favourite but whatever the outcome, to reach such a stage will have been beyond the wildest dreams of the child stuck in a hospital for two years.
Oliveira could cap an incredible story with a championship belt if he wins on Saturday
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