Ahead of an expected Octagon return in May of this year, former undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira has inked a new, massive back tattoo of an entire lion’s head and an accompanying mane. 

Oliveira, a former undisputed lightweight champion under the banner of the UFC, currently boasts the #1 rank in the official 155lbs pile, most recently featuring in October of last year.

Headlining UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, UAE against Islam Makhachev, Sao Paulo native, Charles Oliveira suffered a second round arm-triangle submission loss to the Makhackhala native, in the pair’s vacant championship matchup.

The loss snapped Oliveira’s stunning 12-fight winning spree, having previously minted himself as the undisputed lightweight titleholder, with a 2021 knockout win over Michael Chandler.

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In December of that year, Oliveira stopped Dustin Poirier with a third round standing rear-naked choke to successfully defend the title, before submitting Justin Gaethje in Arizona last May in a non-title bout after the Brazilian missed championship weight.

Expected to make his UFC comeback in April or May of this year, Charles Oliveira, who plans to fight for the lightweight crown before the end of 2023, recently got some more tattoo work done in his native Brazil – this time in the form of an entire back piece.

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“Charles Oliveira has an INSANE new back tattoo,” Amy Kaplan tweeted. “ARTIST: William Espósito” 

Charles Oliveira expected to make UFC return against Beneil Dariush

Linked with a slew of potential opponents for his Octagon return in the opening quarter of this year, Oliveira, the promotion’s most prolific submission ace and all-time finisher, appears to be on the brink of inking a deal to fight Iran-born contender, Beneil Dariush, who claimed recently the UFC approached him with a matchup against Oliveira for UFC 288 in May

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“Here’s the thing I’ve been having with Charles (Oliveira) – the UFC were originally like, ‘Hey, what do you think about fighting him in Brazil?’ Which was like a couple weeks ago,” Beneil Dariush said. “I think – or it was last week, I don’t know. And I was like, can I get a little bit more time? It turns out my MCL was torn.” 

“… So I’d like to just start my camp fresh,” Beneil Dariush continued. “Can I have a little bit extra time? So can we do February? And they said, ‘OK, yeah we’ll do February.’ February turned into March, March turned into April. And now they’re (the UFC) are talking about May.”

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.