Charles Oliveira is aware of Justin Gaethje’s recent comments and he wasn’t interested in holding his tongue.
Oliveira is the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion. He captured the gold when he stopped Michael Chandler in the second round of their bout back in May. The title had been vacated after Khabib Nurmagomedov relinquished the gold due to retirement.
Gaethje, a former interim UFC Lightweight Champion, told ESPN that he won’t view Oliveira as the real 155-pound titleholder until he beats Dustin Poirier.
Oliveira is none too pleased with that assessment (h/t Sherdog.com).
“What I have to say to Gaethje is do your job, win your fights and get your opportunity, just like I did and make it happen,” Oliveira responded.
“I’m going to be here with my belt. When you get nine straight wins you may complain with Dana. Nine months ago, I was top seven, asking for an opportunity against a top-five contender. Ten days before UFC 256, Ferguson’s opponent got hurt and I was in shape ready to accept the UFC invitation.
“After completely dominating Ferguson, I conquered my title shot,” Oliveira continued. “I did 28 fights in the UFC in the last 11 years, I was coming from eight consecutive wins, I have the bonus record of UFC, I beat the record of submissions of Royce Gracie and Demian Maia in the organization. If I didn’t have the right to fight for the belt, who should have? If I’m the champion today, it is because I fought a lot for that.”
“Today I’m not worried about who said bad things about me, or who I’m gonna fight against,” the champ explained. “My main concern is be ready to face any challenger [the] UFC chooses, and that’s what I’m gonna be in December, against Poirier or any other.”
Oliveira’s next move hasn’t been made official. With that said, many believe Poirier is the logical choice. Poirier has two straight victories over Conor McGregor and has gone 8-1, 1 NC in his last 10 outings.
As for Gaethje, he’s due for a pivotal lightweight scrap. He’ll meet Michael Chandler on the UFC 268 card. The event will go down inside Madison Square Garden in New York City on Nov. 6.