Charles Oliveira is the uncrowned king of the UFC’s lightweight division. The belt was stripped from him at last month’s UFC 274, when he weighed in a shade heavy on the scales. However, since then many have blamed the Arizona commission for the snafu.
After losing the title Oliveira defeated Justin Gaethje to ensure the title remained vacant. It is believed Oliveira will compete for that title later this year against an opponent yet to be named.
Oliveira obviously has a preference over who that opponent might be. The Brazilian recently said, not for the first time, that he wants a marque match-up with none other than Conor McGregor.
“It would be a very good fight for me,” he told ESPN MMA. “It would put a lot of money in my pocket, and [at this moment] that’s the most important thing. And it would also be really good for my legacy, for me to have in my story. Regardless, if he’s coming from defeat or not, he’s a guy who’s made history, so I think it would be great, but it’s not just up to me. If it were up to me, this fight would already be happening.”
McGregor hasn’t won a fight in two years and is 1-3 in the lightweight division. His sole win at 155 lbs was his title winning performance over Eddie Alvarez in 2016. Since then he has been submitted by Khabib Nurmagomedov and TKO’d twice by Dustin Poirier.
McGregor has been on the sidelines for a year recovering from a broken leg suffered against Poirier last summer.
Oliveira’s call for a McGregor fight will not please Islam Makhachev, who—along with his mentor Nurmagomedov—has been campaigning for a title shot.
Makhachev is on a 10-fight win streak and is 10-1 in the UFC’s lightweight division. This year he TKO’d Bobby Green, in a short notice catchweight fight. Last year he submitted Dan Hooker, Thiago Moises and Drew Dober.
Oliveira said he’s not convinced that Makhachev has done enough to earn a title shot.
“I’ve never ran from a fight and the lightweight champion is called Charles Oliveira. Is Islam a very tough guy? Yep. Did he fight big names? No. He’s on a big streak, but who did he fight?”