UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira was cageside to take in the spectacle of the UFC 264 main event this past weekend. Knowing that whoever walked out of the cage victorious would most likely be fighting him next, he had a special interest in the fight. The way it went down, with Dustin Poirier being declared the winner after Conor McGregor suffered an injury, didn’t sit well with the champ. He spoke to superlutas.com about his feelings toward the end of the bout.
“It’s unpleasant to talk about this fight. I, Charles, see all fighters as workers who were born to do this,” Oliveira said (translated by Bloody Elbow.) “I treat them all well when the fight ends. I hug them, I kiss them, I thank them for the opportunity. I watched that card from top to bottom. The way Conor lost was painful. Had he been knocked out or if he had knocked out Dustin, that would’ve been cool.”
A fighter in McGregor’s position receives a lot of praise when they win and maybe, even more, hate when they lose. This is something that Oliveira can sympathize with. He is all about respect; and even though McGregor lost, Oliveira shows his respect for going out there and trying.
“He (Conor) deserves a standing ovation,” Oliveira said. “I don’t like the way he sells his fights, the way he talks. As an athlete, though, he’s a giant. He influences millions of people and earns millions of dollars, win or lose. He puts money into the pockets of lots of people. Everyone wants to fight him because they know they’ll make money. Unfortunately, losing the way he lost, he’s going to be sidelined. He said it should take about six weeks to come back. I’m sure he’s fighting Dustin again when he’s ready. He has my respect.”
Oliveira also touched on the subject of pay. There is no doubt that a fight against McGregor would be a huge moneymaker. However, with the Irishman now out of the title picture, it is Poirier who is next in line for a title shot.
Do you think Conor McGregor is deserving of a “standing ovation” after UFC 264?