Charles Oliveira is upset that a fighter only recently signed from Bellator is serving as back-up for the upcoming lightweight title fight. It was announced shortly after UFC‘s signing of Michael Chandler that he would serve as backup when Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje unify the lightweight belts on October 24th.
“I’m in the best moment of my life, seven wins, man, and I don’t have an opportunity to fight someone in the top-5,” Oliveira said to MMA Fighting. “And now some guy from Bellator, who got knocked out in the first round, he gets signed and is the next challenger for the belt. How come? I don’t get it. I don’t understand it.”
Chandler lost the Bellator lightweight title in May of 2019 when he was knocked out by Patricio Freire in the 1st round at Bellator 221. He finished his run with Bellator with consecutive 1st round KO wins over Sidney Outlaw and Benson Henderson, however.
Oliveira is on a 7-fight win streak. His last defeat came on December 2nd, 2017 in a loss to Paul Felder. Since then, he has defeated Clay Guida, Christos Giagos, Jim Miller, David Teymur, Nik Lentz, Jared Gordon, and Kevin Lee.
“Is Michael Chandler really tough? Sure, he was the Bellator champion and deserves respect, but where is he in the rankings?” Oliveira continued. “He just got here with a big name and I’d definitely fight him, but now I want to fight someone ranked ahead of me.”
Oliveira pulled out of a scheduled fight with Beneil Dariush last month due to personal problems. He has since said he is hoping to fight in November.