Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira apparently had the opportunity for an immediate rematch against Islam Makhachev at UFC 283 this coming January in Rio de Janeiro. While the fight may still happen in the not too distant future, it won’t be quite that soon. According to the Brazilian’s manager and coach Diego Lima, the UFC had offered them the booking for the January 21st date, but the team decided to give ‘Do Bronx’ a break instead.
In an interview with Super Lutas, Lima explained that Oliveira was already under too much mental stress after his disappointing UFC 280 loss. In his opinion, to put the 33-year-old in a training camp to fight the new champ again in just two months time would not have been the most intelligent move, so they chose not to take the opportunity.
“When we were going to face Makhachev,” Lima explained, “we showed a lot of interest in fighting him in Rio. One week after [UFC 280], the UFC got in touch with us. They gave us the opportunity to fight [Makhachev] in Rio. They have always been really good to us. We have really good talks. It was up to us to accept or not,”
“I talked it over with Charles. He’s not injured, but there’s an emotional stress. It’s way beyond physical. Charles is the only fighter that has faced all the top 5 guys within a year. Champs normally hide, they want to fight once a year. That’s not Charles, but Rio is way too close now. We prefer to give Charles a well-deserved vacation.”
Back in October, Oliveira (33-9-1 NC) fought Makhachev for the vacant lightweight title, but lost the match via submission in the second round. Before that, the 33-year-old was on an 11-fight winning streak, with 10 finishes, having defeated some of the most notable names in the division. Since December of 2020, he picked up victories over Tony Ferguson, Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler.