Former UFC Lightweight Champion Charles Oliveira is just one fight away from regaining his champ status and that takes place this 22nd of October at UFC 280 against Islam Makhachev. However, Oliveira is already confident enough to see himself as the 155-pound titlist and opines that facing Makhachev is just another title defense.
The belt is already mine: Charles Oliveira
Back in May, Charles Oliveira didn’t lose his Lightweight belt in the Octagon, but on the scale, as the Brazilian was stripped from the title after missing weight ahead of his UFC 274 fight against Justin Gaethje. “Do Bronx” eventually went onto win via first-round submission, securing an immediate title shot and was pitted against the rising star of the division, Islam Makhachev.
However, Oliveira is already feeling the belt around his waist and during a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, opined that the Makhachev fight is coming to him as another title defense.
“The belt is already mine. To me, this is another title defense,” said Oliveira via a translator, “I made weight, I’m sure I made weight. I feel like I was robbed. It was really hard – I heard my dad crying, my daughter was questioning why I lost the belt. It was very upsetting. It went against all the dedication I put into this. But the most important part was that I showed my championship mentality. Even after all that happened, I pulled through and still put on a show for everyone.”
“I’m going to where he (Islam) wants the fight. It’s where he thinks he’ll beat me. I can beat him on the ground. Maybe people think I’m the underdog, but I am better. I’ve had tougher fights and bigger wins,” the 32-year-old added.
Winning the 155-pound belt for a second time will no doubt fortify Oliveira as a legendary name in MMA, potentially on par with Lightweight legends such as Conor McGregor and the now retired Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“Conor would be a very big fight and would make a lot of money. I’ve talked about it, but Conor doesn’t seem interested,” Oliveira asserted, “Khabib would be another big fight, but Khabib is retired. If he wanted to step into the cage with me, I would.”
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