Coach: Charles Oliveira Rejected Rematch With Islam Makhachev

Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira is not going to be fighting in front of his home country at the start of 2023.

The UFC is returning to Rio, Brazil for the first time in four years but one of Brazil’s biggest stars will not be on the card. Charles Oliveira is coming off a loss at UFC 280. He lost his title bout to Islam Makhachev and, in turn, lost out on the opportunity to be crowned the UFC lightweight champion once again. Now it is revealed by his coach that he could have had an opportunity for a rematch but turned it down.

Oliveira’s head coach Diego Lima said the former champion had an offer from the UFC for an immediate rematch on the UFC 283 fight card but thought it was a bit too quick of a return.

Charles Oliveira
Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

Charles Oliveira Was Not Ready To Face Islam Makhachev Again In Rio

Coming into the bout at UFC 280, Oliveira and his camp were very confident in their game plan. They believed they were prepared for Makhachev’s elite wrestling but in the end, Oliveira was caught in a submission and was forced to tap. As the former champion, he was given the choice of a rematch in Brazil, three months later according to Lima.

“When we were going to face Makhachev,” Lima said in an interview with Super Lutas h/t Bloody Elbow. “we showed a lot of interest in fighting him in Rio. One week after [UFC 280], the UFC got in touch with us. They gave us the opportunity to fight [Makhachev] in Rio. They have always been really good to us. We have really good talks. It was up to us to accept or not.”

Lima explained that it was ultimately up to Oliveira but he was not ready for that quick of a turnaround.

“I talked it over with Charles. He’s not injured, but there’s an emotional stress. It’s way beyond physical. Charles is the only fighter that has faced all the top 5 guys within a year. Champs normally hide, they want to fight once a year. That’s not Charles, but Rio is way too close now. We prefer to give Charles a well-deserved vacation.”

It was a rollercoaster year for Oliveira. In the last PPV event of 2021 and after 15 years in the organization, Oliveira finally captured his first UFC lightweight title.

In his first defense, he, unfortunately, missed weight and was stripped of the belt. The bout against Makhachev was to be his comeback story, but it was spoiled by the Dagestani grappler.

Oliveira is planning to take a break but is still sitting in the number one spot on the rankings. Perhaps he will be next for the winner of Makhachev vs. Volkanovski next year.

Do you think Charles Oliveira should have taken the immediate rematch?