Oliveira’s comments come ahead of the UFC 264 pay-per-view on July 10. The blockbuster event will be headlined by a trilogy fight between Irish superstar Conor McGregor and former 155-pound interim champ Dustin Poirier. It’s expected that the winner of the main event will be the first challenger to Oliveira’s lightweight gold.
“Do Bronx” was crowned champion at UFC 262 after a record-breaking 17th finish in the lightweight division. Having been knocked down in the opening round and appearing close to a defeat, Oliveira rallied in the second round to knock out Michael Chandler.
Having achieved title glory after more than a decade in the promotion, the Brazilian will hope to begin a dominant reign when he first defends his title.
While many have predicted that Oliveira may struggle against McGregor or Poirier, the 31-year-old doesn’t see the potential matchups in the same way. This is despite opening as the betting underdog against both contenders.
During a press conference promoted by Bet Combat, Oliveira suggested that he could not only beat both by utilizing his renowned jiu-jitsu but could also do so in McGregor and Poirier’s comfort zone.
“I never chose opponents. I was always ready to fight,” Oliveria said. “They are two great names in the sport, the lightweight ones. Everyone knows that a fight with Conor has a lot of money and one with Dustin not so much, but they are two great opponents. I don’t choose to fight. I’ll be ready. I really believe in my jiu-jitsu against either of them, but something tells me that if I fought them, I’d knock them both out. I’m feeling good.” (H/T UOL Esporte)
Having knocked out Chandler in May, that prediction certainly isn’t as far-fetched as it might have appeared to be before. Oliveira went on to reveal where his newfound striking confidence has come from.
“A few years ago, Charles was the jiu-jitsu guy, who walked forward, took hits and was a little afraid. Today, I’m not afraid to trade blows with these guys. The funny thing is, when I start to change Damn it, they’re the ones who try to put me down, to do what I know best. That shows how much I’m evolving on my feet. For sure, it will be a great fight. Charles, today, is not a jiu-jitsu fighter. He’s a complete fighter, both standing and on the ground, but I think everyone will be knocked out,” he concluded.
After a few weeks back at the UFC Apex, the promotion is all set to welcome back a Las Vegas crowd at the T-Mobile Arena for UFC 264 on July 10.
With one win apiece in their memorable rivalry, the fight boasts immense stakes for McGregor and Poirier, with a shot at Oliveira’s title awaiting the victor.
Do you think that Charles Oliveira could knock out McGregor and Poirier?