Charles Oliveira’s second title defense didn’t go to planned last weekend. After a controversial weigh-in in Arizona, Oliveira was stripped of his UFC lightweight title after coming in half a pound over weight.
That meant Oliveira went into the UFC 274 main event with no title and no chances of winning the title. However, his opponent Justin Gaethje stood the chance of winning the belt if he could get past ‘Do Bronx’. He couldn’t, though. Despite the odd circumstances, Oliveira continued to show he was the best lightweight around, knocking down Gaethje and submitting him with a rear naked choke.
The UFC appears sympathetic to Oliveira, believing the commission dropped the ball with the weigh-in process. As a result, the Brazilian has been promised a shot at the vacant lightweight crown in his next fight.
And despite not having the belt, Oliveira is still acting like a champ and calling his next shot. The UFC leader in submissions and finishes recently responded to former champ Khabib Nurmagomedov’s claims that Islam Makhachev is next in line to fight for the title.
During a chat with MMA Fighting’s Portuguese language podcast Trocação Franca Oliveira revealed that he thought Makhachev was one fight away from facing him for the belt.
“I think the reality is, Makhachev has to fight Dariush first,” he said. “They both have to fight and then we’ll see who we’re fighting or not. Makhachev is super tough and deserves all the respect in the world. Dariush is also super tough and has a great team. It will be a great fight, so let them fight first and see what will happen down the line. Like I said, my focus now is going home and getting some rest, and my team will see who we’re fighting. I’ve never ran from a fight and never will. I’ll be there and I’ll be ready [to fight] whoever they put in there with me.”
“Everyone I beat, I’ve made it pretty clear,” continued Oliveira. “I never let it go the distance, I always finish them. Makhachev and Dariush are the two guys I haven’t fought yet and they both have to make this fight happen. Maybe [the next contender] comes from this fight. The thing is, it makes no difference to me. I’ll be ready. The champion’s name is Charles Oliveira.”
Oliveira went on to say that he wants the forthcoming title fight to happen in Brazil (not Abu Dhabi as Nurmagomedov had suggested).
“I’ve asked to fight in December [in Brazil]. I deserve this. The Brazilian people deserve this. We deserve this, for this fight to be in Brazil. If it’s Sao Paulo, that’s 100 percent. But I would really like this fight to be in Brazil.”
Oliveira’s win over Gaethje extended his win streak to 11 fights. The 32-year-old hasn’t lost since 2017. His overall record is 33-8 1 (NC), he’s only gone the distance three times in his career.
Makhachev has a 22-1 record and a 10 fight winning streak. In February he beat Bobby Green—who was coming in on short notice for Beneil Dariush—by TKO.