Gaethje, who was last in action in 2020 when he failed to capture gold from Khabib Nurmagomedov, says that that Oliveira’s championship crowning at UFC 262 did nothing to dispel his belief that the Brazilian is a quitter.
After over a decade in the UFC, Oliveira finally reached the lightweight mountaintop against Michael Chandler in May. In front of a sold-out crowd inside Houston’s Toyota Center, “Do Bronx” came back from first-round adversity to finish the former Bellator champ in the second frame.
But despite the victory, Oliveira’s struggle in the opening round was enough to prove to Justin Gaethje that he’s not mentally tough inside the Octagon. And despite recovering and securing a memorable main event win, according to “The Highlight,” Oliveira won’t be able to successfully defend his belt against Dustin Poirier.
Gaethje himself will be looking to rise closer to the Brazilian in his next bout. In a clash of former title challengers, the 32-year-old is expected to face Chandler at UFC 268 in November. The victor could well put themselves in position to challenge Oliveira or Poirier for the title down the line.
During an appearance alongside Chandler on the UFC 265 weigh-in show, Gaethje explained why “The Diamond” will have the edge over “Do Bronx” if the pair meet for the title next.
“I think Dustin Poirier’s better. I think Charles Oliveira still has some quit deep down in him—not even deep. It’s pretty shallow. Michael Chandler showed it. But yeah, Dustin Poirier will make him quit, probably from being more hungry, more pressure…I mean, I want Charles Oliveira to show me that he’s not a quitter because nothing has showed me that.”
Poirier is expected to be the first man to attempt to dethrone Oliveira having secured two victories over former two-division champion Conor McGregor this year. Most recently at UFC 264, the Louisianan had his hand raised after the Irishman suffered a horrendous broken leg in the closing seconds of the opening round.
After previously holding the division’s interim title but failing to become the undisputed king against Khabib, the 32-year-old will hope to go all the way when he next enters the Octagon with the champ.
Do you think Charles Oliveira has what it takes to successfully defend his title against Dustin Poirier?