Charles Oliveira believes that it is the start of the new era in the lightweight division.
After winning the vacant UFC lightweight championship belt by defeating Michael Chandler at UFC 262 in Houston, Oliveira returned to his home country of Brazil to celebrate with his hometown. The new lightweight king does not believe that former UFC champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s legacy and subsequent retirement does not loom large over him but insists that a new era has begun under him.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Oliveira expressed that he respects Nurmagomedov’s reasons for retiring insisting that he has no intention of calling the former champion out.
“Many people told me to wear a shirt taking shots at [Nurmagomedov] or say something about him in the end,” said Oliveira. “Khabib is a great champion, 29-0, and deserves all the respect in the world. He came in and was always dominant with his style. He retired because his father passed away, and he deserves more respect because of that. He swore over his father’s grave he wouldn’t fight again and if it has to be up to me to say something for him to come back, he’ll stay retired.”
Whether if he would want to fight Nurmagomedov, the fighter within Oliviera says ‘by all means’. However, Oliviera insists that he is not under his “shadow” if he was not to fight him explaining that the Dagestani man never fought “Do Bronx.”
“Everybody would love to see this fight, of course”, said Oliveira. “I would also love to see this fight, but I don’t see myself under his shadow. He said he’s beaten everybody in the division but he never fought me, so he can’t say he’s beaten everybody. But he’s beaten everyone he fought. He deserves all the respect in the world. [But] the new lightweight champion is Charles Oliveira, someone who comes in to finish people. A new legacy has begun in the lightweight division. What Khabib has done until now was 100 percent wonderful, a respectful man, but a new era has begun. A new legacy. Charles Oliveira.”
Oliveira has a point. Nurmagomedov left on top undefeated 29-0, the undisputed UFC lightweight champion defending against the likes of Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje and possibly seen as one of the greatest of all time in MMA. The fact that the Russian never fought Oliveira gives the Brazilian the mental confirmation in his mind that he is the best right now.
On the other hand, if Poirier or McGregor were to become champion, both of their losses to Nurmagomedov could possibly loom large over their heads.
Do you think Khabib’s legacy still looms large over the lightweight division?