Since 2018 Charles Oliveira has done away with his past reputation for inconsistent performances and trouble on the scales. Over this period, he’s made the lightweight limit nine times without fail and has gone on an eight-fight winning streak.
That streak features seven finishes and includes submissions of Clay Guida, Christos Giagos, Jim Miller, David Teymur and Kevin Lee and striking stoppages of Nik Lentz and Jared Gordon.
Most recently ‘Do Bronx’ defeated perennial lightweight contender Tony Ferguson in the co-main event of December’s UFC 256. Oliveira beat El Cucuy by unanimous decision in a fight he never looked in danger of losing.
That win, and his streak, have Oliveira in prime position to contest for a title at 155 lbs. The Brazilian is ranked third currently, behind only Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. The rankings still list Khabib Nurmagomedov as champion, but all signs suggest the Dagestani will make good on his word and retire from the sport, vacating his belt when he does so.
January 23rd’s UFC 257 brings a fight that is certain to make waves at the top of the division. That’s when Dustin Poirier will get his long awaited rematch with Conor McGregor. UFC President Dana White has been clear that this fight is not for a belt, but that the winner is likely in line for a title shot.
And Oliveira is hoping he’ll be included in those plans. He told AG Fight (per Adam Martin, bjpenn.com) that he is planning to call out the winner of Poirier vs. McGregor 2. And he’s hoping to pull that off from the front row.
“The only guy who comes from eight straight wins, taking everyone for nothing, is called Charles Oliveira,” he said. “This is the only guy who should fight Khabib. There is no other way to be taken. There will be a fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, and I just have to sit in the front row, waiting for which of the two will come to fight me.”
Oliveira said his manager is working to ensure that he will be able to attend UFC 257, currently slated to take place on Yas Island, UAE. Recently the UFC announced they would be permitting a ‘limited number of spectators’ to January’s Fight Island events.
“My manager is negotiating this. But I also have my foot on the ground, I know that we are in a pandemic, that it is difficult for things to happen. So, I understand if they can’t take me. I really wanted to be there in the first row, watching because this fight speaks volumes.”
If Oliveira does make it to front row on Yas Island, in addition to watching Poirier vs. McGregor 2 he can expect to see Dan Hooker welcome Michael Chandler to the UFC. Also scheduled for the card is Jessica Eye vs. Joanne Calderwood and Marina Rodriguez vs. Amanda Ribas.