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Oliveira knows rankings are important for his title hopes even if illogical

Charles Oliveira, left, and Frankie Edgar battle during their UFC 162 mixed martial arts featherweight bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday, July 6, 2013, in Las Vegas. Edgar won the three round fight with a unanimous decision. (AP Photo/David Becker)
(AP Photo/David Becker)

In the stacked UFC featherweight division, Charles Oliveira sits in the top 10 but gets little of the attention. He does not always understand how the rankings work, but he knows it matters if he ever wants to get a title shot.

Oliveira is set to fight No. 4 Ricardo Lamas at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale.

“I think it will be a great fight,” Oliveira told MMAjunkie. “It’s also a great opportunity. Unfortunately I’m coming off a loss (to former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis), in spite of it having been a great fight. From what I understand, (B.J. Penn, Lamas’ original opponent, at the scrapped UFC Fight Night 97 event) ended up getting hurt, and both the fight and the card were canceled. I think it certainly gave Lamas longer to train and dedicate himself to this fight, so it will be a great opportunity not just for me but for him, too.

“I intend to be 100 percent for this fight. It’s a great opportunity, and it’s my dream on the line. What I really want is to win, when it’s all said and done – regardless if it’s on the first, second or third round – it doesn’t matter how I’ll be. What matters is winning this fight.”

Defeating Lamas, who stands four places higher in the rankings, will certainly help to elevate Oliveira’s position. It is something Oliveira keeps on his mind as the one sure way to reaching his goal.

“The rankings matter to me a lot, for sure,” Oliveira said “I want to stay there. I want to be among the world’s top 10. Sometimes I don’t really understand the rankings. There are guys whom I beat who are ahead of me, and guys who beat me who are behind me.

“I don’t really get it sometimes, but we want to stay ranked and focused on our goal, which is to be champion.”

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