UFC 273 debutant Daniel Santos inspired by teammate Charles Oliveira’s success: ‘I’ll be champion too’


Chute Boxe’s Diego Lima will have a full schedule for the UFC in the coming months with lightweight champion Charles Oliveira returning to the ring along with his team-mates Allan Nascimento and Polyana Viana, and Daniel Santos. He is a sparring partner to “Do Bronx” and gets additional motivation from seeing his UFC belt on the gym wall.

Santos makes his first walk to the octagon in the preliminary portion of Saturday’s UFC 273 in Jacksonville, Fla., battling Julio Arce in a bantamweight bout. He was inspired by the “champion vibe”, and the presence of Oliveira at the camp, which has fueled his desire to get the best opportunity in his MMA career.

“[The UFC belt] is the item we all dream about – every fighter, every athlete,” Santos said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “To have the belt [in the gym] and be able to touch it, put it on your shoulders and know that your friend and teammate made it, it motivates you even more. Like, you know it’s possible. With determination, focus and discipline, you can get there, too. It gives me strength to continue believing.

” I’ll be displaying my work at the UFC. With time and believing in God, I’ll be champion too. It will be .”

I believe it.

Santos prepared for UFC 273 by trading hands and rolling with “do Bronx” in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and he predicts a devastating finish for Oliveira on May 7, when the lightweight belt is on the line against former interim titleholder Justin Gaethje at UFC 274.

“Charles is going to knock Gaethje out,” Santos stated. “Charles is on a roll, very confident, training hard and fixing the holes in his game. Charles will do his best and march for victory. I have faith that the knockout will come. His .”


Willycat must do his bit and win his first victory at the octagon in Jacksonville. Fully recovered from a hand break that cancelled his UFC debut this past October, Santos said styles have changed “100 percent” from Timur Valiev and Marcelo Rojo, his original opponents, to Arce.

“Julio, a southpaw, has great boxing and keeps good distance. However, I am very well trained and sparred here.” Santos stated. It was going to be tough fighting with Valiev, and it will also be tough against Arce. Although he’s extremely experienced in the UFC, I’m up for it. I’m 100 percent. He doesn’t surprise me much.”

Arce is 4-3 under the UFC banner with wins over the likes of Dan Ige, Daniel Teymur and Andre Ewell, but dropped his most recent one to Yadong Song in November 2021. Santos stated that Arce showed “big heart” when he lost in a split decision to Sheymon Morais in 2018,, but he doubts Arce would have been able to get back up after having eaten shots from him.

” I’ll be open with you, it would be difficult,” Santos stated. “He’s a tough guy, I’ve watched that fight and he was knocked down twice and came back, but I’m also very tough. Although it’s going be a long battle, I will knock him out. I hit hard, too. My hand is really hard. If it lands, I think it would be hard for him to get back to his feet.”