Charles Oliveira believes that there is only one fight that makes sense if the UFC lightweight championship is vacated by Khabib Nurmagomedov.
As the days tick by, it is appearing more likely that current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will vacate the championship following his retirement at UFC 254 last October. All efforts by Dana White to lure Khabib into another title defense appear to have gone unsuccessful, meaning the title could be vacated any day now. If this happens, the natural question becomes: who will compete for the vacant championship?
Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira is currently riding an eight-fight winning streak and has earned himself a ranking at #3 in the lightweight division. Meanwhile, Dustin Poirier stamped his name to the #1 -contender slot following his mega-profile TKO over Conor McGregor at UFC 257. Following the victory, Poirier told reporters that a fight against Charles Oliveira for the lightweight title would appeal to him, and the feeling is definitely mutual from the Oliveira end.
“That’s the fight to make,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting. “Dustin Poirier himself said this is the fight to make. I’m coming off eight straight wins, and I’m not playing games in the division, and he knows that.
“What’s left? There’s nowhere to go. The UFC gave me Tony Ferguson on 20 days’ notice, ‘The Boogeyman,’ and you all saw what happened. They put Dustin Poirier against Conor McGregor – everybody knows how important [McGregor] is for the promotion – and look what Dustin Poirier did. Don’t we deserve this title fight? This is the fight to make.”
Charles Oliveira Dismisses Chandler As Contender
One other name that has been floated around as a potential candidate for a vacant lightweight title fight is Michael Chandler. Chandler made a thunderous UFC arrival by knocking out Dan Hooker in the very first round. Following the KO, Chandler debuted in the rankings all the way up at #4, only one spot behind Oliveira. But like Poirier, Oliveira believes that Chandler still has a lot of work to do.
“Michael Chandler is super tough, he made history in Bellator, and came here and just fought once,” Oliveira said. “So the fight to make is Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier. There’s no other way. Everybody wants this fight. Everybody knows this is the fight to make.”
Do you agree with Charles Oliveira? Should the UFC book Dustin Poirier vs. Charles Oliveira if the lightweight championship is vacated?