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Oliveira believes he will ‘cause a lot of damage’ & ‘then submit’ Poirier in first UFC title defense

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“Working with my hands, with my strikes, I would definitely cause a lot of damage and then submit him.

Charles Oliveira won the title at UFC 264, against Michael Chandler.
Charles Oliveira poses with the lightweight title at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada ahead of the UFC 264 pay-per-view.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Charles Oliveira expects a war against Dustin Poirier, but ‘Do Bronx’ believes he has the tools to ‘cause a lot of damage’ on the feet before submitting ‘The Diamond’ on the ground with his highly touted Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Oliveira isn’t sure where Poirier’s motivation lies following his first-round stoppage of Conor McGregor at UFC 264, but the Brazilian believes he should be Dustin’s priority over a possible ‘money fight’ against Nate Diaz.

“I believe Dustin fought Conor because he knew he would be making a lot of money,” Oliveira, who was sat cageside for UFC 264, told MMA Fighting in a recent interview. “He passed on the belt to fight for money but knew that he would be next in line with a win. I don’t know what his plans are.”

“I think that a fight with Nate would also give him a lot of money, but I don’t know what’s the logic behind that,” he added. “Every person thinks one way. I believe the right fight to make is Charles Oliveira-Dustin Poirier, but I’m not worried about it. I’m the champion. They are the ones that must run after me and the belt, not the other way around.”

With one of the most well-rounded skill sets in mixed martial arts and the most submission wins in UFC history, Oliveira predicts a stoppage victory against a very game and dangerous Poirier on fight night.

“I believe the firepower in my hands, but I think in a fight against Dustin, I believe I can submit him,” Oliveira, who beat Michael Chandler to win the lightweight title at UFC 262, said. “Working with my hands, with my strikes, I would definitely cause a lot of damage and then submit him.

“It’s going to be a war, a great fight. He deserves all the respect in the world, he has heavy hands and good jiu-jitsu, too, so I think it’s going to be a great fight, but I believe in my victory.”

Poirier or no Poirier, Oliveira will be defending his lightweight title in December — and he isn’t concerned about what his next opponent might bring to the table.

“He deserves all the respect in the world for everything he’s done, but I’m not worried about what people bring to the table against me,” Oliveira said of Poirier. “I worry about what I’m going to add to my game. I have firepower in both hands, everybody sees how much I’ve evolved on the feet, and I have my jiu-jitsu.

“It’s going to be a great fight, if this one really happens. It’s going to be a great show [for the fans], and I’m ready on the feet and on the ground. I’m well both mentally, physically and spiritually. I’m happy. Let’s go. We’ll be defending what’s ours in December.”

Oliveira is the current lightweight champion, but is ranked below Poirier in the UFC pound-for-pound rankings. Poirier is #6, while Oliveira is ranked #10.