Charles Oliveira Still Views Himself As Next Title Challenger

Charles Oliveira

Charles Oliveira believes his name will be the next one on the contract for lightweight champion Islam Makhachev. Oliveira was scheduled to meet Makhachev at the recent UFC 294 before pulling out with an injury.

Charles Oliveira: ‘Everybody Knows I’m Next’ For Title Shot

Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira does not believe an injury has pushed him down the ladder to face Islam Makhachev.

Oliveira was scheduled to challenge Makhachev at UFC 294 earlier this month. An injury, though, knocked him from the contest and opened the door for featherweight titleholder Alexander Volkanovski to face him.

Volkanovski was unable to dethrone Makhachev, but Oliveira is confident it will be his name put on the contract next.

“Whoever the UFC says he’s going to fight, they’re going to fight,” Oliveira said during an appearance on The MMA Hour (thanks to MMA Fighting for the quotes). “Everybody knows I’m next. First in the rankings, coming off of a great win and ready to fight like I was before.

“I was ready for that fight until (the cut) happened, and I’m next in line.”

Charles Oliveira: ‘I Fight To Make History’

The 33-year-old Oliveira lost to Makhachev in 2022 at UFC 280 for the vacant title. The belt had been stripped from his waist after missing weigh-ins for a planned title defense vs. Justin Gaethje earlier this year.

Oliveira downed Gaethje for his 11th consecutive win and made is 12 out of the last 13 in June when he stopped Beneil Dariush for his UFC record 20th finish.

While Makhachev has made mention of a possible move to challenge for the welterweight title, and challengers like Justin Gaethje and Mateusz Gamrot have been floated around, Oliveira is focusing on being that next opponent.

“No one has said anything,” Oliveira said. “They know who I am, they know what I’m all bout, they know I’m going to train to become a champion. I’m training and I’m getting ready for it.

“They know what I’m all about. I don’t fight for money. I fight to make history and I fight for my legacy. So I’m going to continue to train, continue to get prepared and try to get up to 100 percent just like I was right before this fight. When I’m 100 percent, that’s when I’ll be ready to fight.”

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