After subsequently winning the belt with a knockout victory over Michael Chandler, Charles Oliveira has been sitting on top of the stacked lightweight division waiting for his first challenger to contend for the title, and many believe that should be Dustin Poirier.
Poirier has been on a tear in recent times, having won seven of his last eight fights with names like Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje, and Max Holloway all falling victim to the Louisiana-born lightweight, but while he looks destined to be the next contender for “Do Bronx,” he may have his sights set elsewhere.
Instead of pushing for a shot at the strap following his win at UFC 264, Dustin Poirier has been angling for a meeting with Stockton’s own Nate Diaz. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the lightweight title picture, Charles Oliveira respects “The Diamond’s” decision.
During an interview with AG Fight, Oliveira spoke about how fighters in the modern era would prefer money fights to a shot at the title.
“Today, nobody wants to know about a belt, they don’t want to know about a belt. They want to know about money, about money in your pocket.” Oliveira continued. “The fight against Conor made a lot of money for Dustin Poirier, a fight against Nate will make a lot of money too. We are human beings. It depends a lot on each person. I would rather fight for the belt than for the money. I had a focus. I wanted to be UFC champion. Today I’m UFC champion, I want to make money, I want to have money in my pocket.”
However, Oliveira says he understands Poirier’s choice to take money fights, as he too would like to make more money in the sport.
“So it depends a lot. If Dustin agrees to fight Diaz, is he wrong? No, it’s not wrong. He is right. You have to see what’s good for him. Everyone has to choose what is right for them. They considered my fight against Diaz and I said that if it was for the belt, I would fight. Before I fight for the belt. I had a focus, which was to fight for the belt. A lot of people said to me: This fight will make you a lot of money. And I said: Okay, but money is not the focus now, I want to be UFC champion.” Oliveira said. “Today I’m UFC champion, now I want to make money. Everyone has a way to choose. Today I am the champion. I’m not worried about who will be or who will not be, who has to chase, who will fight for the title, it’s them, it’s not me.”
Should Dustin Poirier take the money fight over a lightweight title shot against Charles Oliveira?