UFC President Dana White recently 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.
Oliveira is one of the hottest fighters on the planet right now, having won eight straight fights including a dominant performance against Tony Ferguson at UFC 255. Oliveira dominated the former interim champ, prompting White to call him one of the top-three lightweight fighters in the world.
The UFC president confirmed that the matchmakers offered Oliviera a fight against Chandler on short notice. Although Dan Hooker eventually got the fight as he was rumored, and he’ll take on Chandler at UFC 257 next weekend, there was a time where Hooker getting the fight was in jeopardy. However, Oliveira had to say no because of a potentially tough weight cut.
“We offered him this fight (with Chandler), but he couldn’t make weight, so you can’t blame the guy for that,” White said (via TheMacLife.)
Justin Gaethje vs Charles Oliveira could be next
Dana White has something else planned for Oliveira, as White recently said that he wants Charles to fight Justin Gaethje next. Dana White took part in a virtual fan Q&A on ESPN+ and the host Laura Sanko took questions from the fans and one of them asked about the upcoming fight for Justin Gaethje.
“If everything goes right, it will probably be (Charles) Oliveira,” White stated.
Charles scored an upset win last year when he defeated former interim champion, Tony Ferguson, in the co-main event of UFC 256 in Las Vegas. It was the biggest win of his professional career and it wasn’t a close fight by any means. He dominated the fight throughout and put on a clinic and this significantly raised his stock in the UFC and amongst fans. Before that, he had submitted Kevin Lee at UFC Brasilia.
On the other hand, Justin Gaethje captured the UFC interim lightweight title last year at UFC 249 after scoring a TKO win over Tony Ferguson. He then took on UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and lost the fight via rear-naked choke submission in the second round. Last month, Justin Gaethje stated that he wanted to fight the winner of Poirier vs McGregor 2 for the title. The pair are fighting at UFC 257 taking place later this month. Although Justin believes he needs to be coming off a win, he wouldn’t mind not having to fight again and getting an immediate title shot.
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