According to some reports, UFC lightweight Charles Oliveira was offered to fight Michael Chandler at UFC 258 but he turned down the fight.
Oliveira, who’s won his past eight octagon bouts and is ranked No. 3 in the promotion’s top-15 at 155 pounds, turned down a non-title fight against Michael Chandler at UFC 258, per AG Fight. A few weeks back UFC President Dana White said that Charles Oliveira turned down a short-notice fight against Michael Chandler at UFC 257.
Michael Chandler’s UFC debut could have been against Charles Oliveira rather than Dan Hooker, according to UFC president Dana White. White revealed Oliveira was offered a quick turnaround fight against Chandler following his lopsided decision win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 256 but the Brazilian turned it down due to weight cutting issues.
Charles Oliveira’s coach tells why they turned down to fight Chandler
Oliveira’s coach, Diego Lima, told Sherdog.com that the short-notice nature of the fight and its stakes motivated the decision to decline.
“Charles had never been so close to the belt and it’s important to note that he worked hard for that,” Lima said. “The fans and even Poirier recognized that. Today is Feb. 1. It makes no sense for us to accept a title eliminator for 11 days from now.
“Charles needs time to lose weight, we lose about two days with visa stuff, and of course we need to prepare for the fight itself. Our goal was to fight for the belt against Poirier, but if Poirier will not fight for the belt and the UFC wants to make the Chandler fight for the belt, no problem.”
Chandler on Monday told ESPN.com he’d agreed to face an unnamed top-ranked opponent – whom he declined to name – at the Feb. 13 pay-per-view event, which takes place at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The former Bellator champ debuted in the octagon this past month at UFC 257, where he knocked out Dan Hooker in the first round. Afterwards, he called out Khabib Nurmagomedov for a title shot.
Chandler and Oliveira are both prime candidates for a shot at the UFC lightweight title, seemingly recently vacated by Khabib Nurmagomedov. And while it seems like a rather important fight to toss together on just a couple of week’s notice, apparently the time frame isn’t the reason that it won’t be going down.
At the moment, it appears that any path to the title will likely lead to Dustin Poirier who is coming off his massive KO of Conor McGregor back on January 24th.
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