Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos thinks Conor McGregor is ‘kind of ducking’ Charles Oliveira.
Dos Santos claims the former UFC two-division champion wants no part of the matchup because he knows Oliveira is a “bad fight” for him.
However, McGregor is currently injured and likely sidelined for the rest of the year. He broke his leg in the first round of his trilogy bout with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264 and has been in recovery since July 2021, with the Irishman now able to throw kicks and resume a normal training regimen.
“Did you see that not long ago he (Charles Oliveira) challenged (Conor) McGregor?” Junior dos Santos said on the Podpah podcast (h/t The Mirror). “And McGregor is kind of ducking. Of course, we know, just ducking. It’s obvious he won’t want to, it’s a bad fight for him.”
With McGregor out of the lightweight title picture and seemingly uninterested in the Oliveira matchup, “Do Bronx” has agreed to fight No. 4-ranked contender Islam Makhachev for the vacant 155-pound championship at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Dos Santos is excited about the prospect of his fellow countryman defeating Makhachev in Abu Dhabi and then possibly defending the belt against Khabib Nurmagomedov, who may have no choice but to come out of retirement should Oliveira win.
“Damn, it’s obvious, and then, they’re wanting to put him against that Makhachev – Islam Makhachev, who’s a monster,” Dos Santos said. “It looks like he will accept the fight against Makhachev, hoping that Khabib (Nurmagomedov) will come out of retirement to fight him later.”
UFC 280: Oliveira vs. Makhachev takes place on October 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.