After Max Holloway was forced to withdraw from his Featherweight title fight with Alexander Volkanovski, several elite fighters have put their names in the ring and the latest to do so is none other than current UFC Lightweight world champion Charles Oliveira. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise really, considering that Oliveira actually started his UFC career in the Featherweight division. He didn’t manage much success there initially however, as he went 9-7 across his first sixteen fights before deciding to stop cutting as much weight and simply move up to the Lightweight division.
He also missed weight several times during his time in the division and this contributed to his idea to move up in weight. The decision paid off massively of course, as Oliveira has only lost once in twelve fights in the division and is currently riding a ten-fight winning streak. This is what led to him getting the opportunity to fight for the vacant title against Michael Chandler and after winning, also defending it against Dustin Poirier. As it stands, there aren’t many challenges left for him in the Lightweight division and this isn’t actually the first time that he’s mentioned a desire to go back to his old weightclass and test himself against the best there as well:
“I really thought I couldn’t drop to 145 anymore,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting, “but this last weight cut, I was really [close to] 155 before the fight with this work we’ve been doing, with lots of water in the body, and we believe we could easily make 145.”
“If I had the opportunity to go straight for the 145 belt, I’d move down to fight. Becoming a two-division champion, a Brazilian man, would be awesome.”
Charles Oliveira isn’t just looking for an easier path against the smaller man in Alexander Volkanovski either as he said that he’s not averse to the idea of moving up in weight to 170lbs in order to challenge for a title there too, but he admits that it’s “more viable” to just drop back down to the Featherweight division instead.