The Brazilian, who won the lightweight strap by knocking out Michael Chandler at UFC 262 earlier this month, previously fought at 145 pounds from 2012 to 2016. Oliveira amassed a mixed 7-5 record during that time, having missed weight on four occasions.
Since moving up to the 155 pound division, “Do Bronx” seems to have achieved his full potential, avoiding the brutal weight cuts that held him back at featherweight. The 31-year-old has won 10 of his last 11 fights and is now on a nine-fight win streak.
Speaking to Combate, Oliveira says he’d have success were he to drop back down to featherweight, thanks to hiring a new nutritionist. But he’d only make the move if he’s fighting for the title and given time to prepare for the weight cut.
“If I have the opportunity to fight directly for the title, giving me time to do that, I would do well,” said Oliveira (h/t Adam D Martin at BJPENN.com). Today I have a good nutritionist, a good team that will help me with this and make it happen. But only if it was straight for the title.”
Current featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski is set to face Brian Ortega this fall after the duo coach The Ultimate Fighter 29. And while the winner of Max Holloway vs Yair Rodriguez seems the likely next title challenger, it’s not out of the question for UFC matchmakers to favor a champion vs champion bout involving Oliveira.
Given his chequered history at featherweight, Oliveira definitely has a point to prove at 145 pounds. But any potential title shot will likely have to wait, given the Brazilian is set to face the winner of Poirier-McGregor 3, which will take place on July 10.
What do you think? Is Charles Oliveira worthy of an instant featherweight title shot?