Charles Oliveira should be next in line for a title-shot in the UFC lightweight division, but he’s just revealed that he’s eager for a fight against Conor McGregor if he has to wait for it. This shouldn’t really be the case as Oliveira was the most recent champion prior to the current one, Islam Makhachev, dethroning him and starting his reign. That fight was his first loss in almost 5 years after he went on an 11-fight winning streak and he bounced back from it incredibly quickly too, knocking out Beneil Dariush in his next octagon appearance.
That win earned Oliveira a rematch against Makhachev and the pair were set to meet at UFC 294, but Oliveira had to withdraw from the fight on just a few day’s notice after suffering a pretty severe cut in training. That left space for featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski to step in and move up in weight for another shot at the lightweight title. Although Oliveira should still be next in line for a title-shot, some people have been suggesting that he might have missed his chance. He recently addressed this in an interview with MMAFighting:
“How have I missed my shot? I’m the No. 1. I’ve beat everybody else below me. Who’s next in line? I am. Do I have to wait a month or two, or three, or six? I don’t know. I don’t want to talk about it. Leave that to Diego and ‘Macaco’ to clash heads and make it happen. I just want to rest, breathe, and wait for my moment to make things happen. It’s not that it doesn’t make sense (to fight somebody else) — I’m a UFC employee. Whoever they say, we’ll make it happen. But I’m the No. 1 contender, and I beat everybody else below me.”
It’s not just about whether or not Oliveira deserves a title-shot of course, as Volkanovski could always win his fight with Islam Makhachev too. That creates a fair bit of confusion around the top of the lightweight division, as the record between Volkanovski and Makhachev would stand at 1-1 and Makhachev would then be the more recent former champion. The more likely scenario then would be that the trilogy fight between them would be booked and given that Volkanovski has another title to defend as well, fans might be waiting a while for it.
In any case, if Charles Oliveira isn’t going to get the next lightweight title-shot then Conor McGregor is the opponent he wants. He’s expressed his desire to fight McGregor in the past and now he’s doubled down on the idea, even going so far as to propose other weight classes if it helps get the fight made:
“The Conor fight is a fight I’ve been asking for a long time. And I never lied, I was the only one being real about fighting Conor. Charles Oliveira against Conor McGregor, money fight. It’s a fight that will give us a lot of money. Conor sells, Charles also sells. It’s a fight that everybody wants. The only one we don’t know if (he) wants this fight is Conor because I’ve said it a thousand times. 170, 185, 155, I don’t know, choose the weight. Say where and I’ll be there. Just send the contract and we’ll sign it. That’s the fight. Title fight? I’m waiting. UFC makes the call. I deserve it. I’m waiting right here, next to the people that really love me. I’m waiting for my moment.”
Whether the fight between Charles Oliveira and Conor McGregor ever comes to fruition remains to be seen, but it would definitely attract a lot of attention and make a lot of money for all parties involved.