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Charles Oliveira says top-5 lightweights only fight each other: ‘They give you no chance’

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Lightweight contender Charles Oliveira wants an opportunity to prove his worth among the best.

UFC Fight Night: Lee v Oliveira Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC

Rising UFC lightweight contender Charles Oliveira just wants an opportunity to show people he is a top-5 name in his division.

Although ‘Do Bronx’ is a proven world-class athlete, the Brazilian has yet to beat someone in the higher echelon of the weight class, a gap he intends to fill as soon as he gets a chance.

In an interview with Combate, Oliveira says that the top-5 athletes at lightweight need to give rising fighters more chances to challenge their spots. In fact, Charles claims they only fight each other in order to maintain their status, forcing men like “Do Bronx” to take fighters behind them in the rankings.

“Here’s the thing: those top 5 are in their little club, they only fight each other,” Oliveira said. “That way, they’ll surely stay in the top 5. They give you no chance. One of them is injured, another can’t fight, another one won’t fight. How can that be? That’s unreal. You have to fight. If you don’t want to fight, get out of the way. If you’re injured, I get you. If you’re having family problems, I get you. If you just fought, I get you. But Dustin Poirier fought a few months ago and now is saying he only wants to fight next year so he can keep on loving the sport. I don’t get that. Dan Hooker fought Dustin Poirier and lost. Where is he? He never fought again. The same goes for Tony Ferguson. I get Justin Gaethje, he waited to fight Khabib for the belt in October. Conor McGregor, is he coming back or not? So they’re all in their little club and don’t fight anybody.”

Although Oliveira says that many fighters above him are willing to fight him when the cameras are on, Charles claims that they all decline the fight when it is time to sign the contract. Because of those circumstances, Do Bronx sees no other exit but to keep on taking the fights he can in the division.

“They offer me a bunch of names and none of them want to fight me, he said. “Some guys show up on media calling me out, saying a bunch of stuff, but when things get real, they run way. That’s the truth. There are guys who were called to fight me, did not accept and now have another fight booked. Those things make no sense. I won’t name names. Here’s the thing: everyone is chasing the same goal, to win the belt. Sooner or later we’ll have to fight. If they’re afraid to fight me now, they’ll be even more scared later on. Everyday that passes, I feel better, stronger, more ready. The UFC sent me some names that were above me and asked me if I would fight them. I accepted on the spot. But when it was time for the other fighters to answer, they didn’t accept. So there’s not much I can do other than wait.”

Charles Oliveira (29-8-1 NC) is on a seven-fight winning streak, all finishes, with victories over notable names such as Jim Miller, Clay Guida and Kevin Lee. The 30-year-old’s last loss happened in December 2017, when he was TKO’d by Paul Felder.

Now, Do Bronx is expected to meet Beneil Dariush at UFC Fight Night 179, on October 3, in a location yet to be determined. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a women’s bantamweight bout between former champion Holly Holm and contender Irene Aldana.