Charles Oliveira has laid out his intentions to get back to the UFC lightweight title.
With the current champion, Islam Makhachev, locked in to face Alexander Volkanovski in a super fight on February 12 at UFC 284 – then likely out of action from March until April due to Ramadan – Oliveira is keenly aware there’s time to stake his claim as the number one contender at 155 pounds for a title-shot at the end of the year.
“I’ve been a long way from that belt. I’m one fight from it today,” Oliveira told Ag Fight. “The UFC knows that, knows what I want. I didn’t come here to play, I came to make history. I want to fight there for the end of March, April, that’s my timing. I have to fight on that date. And I need a guy who, by winning, I’m definitely the next title challenger. Because he (Makhachev) will fight now in February. So, in March, April, picking up a guy who puts me back in the face of the title goal at the end of the year. Sure [just one more fight to the belt]. I fight now in March, April, and at the end of the year for the title again.” (translated by MMA Mania)
While Oliveira doesn’t seem particularly fussed about who his opponent may be, he was adamant that they have a winning record before mentioning one Beneil Dariush by name.
“With Dariush, the same thing happened to me. [He] Stayed long outside the Top 5, wanting the opportunity,” Oliveira said. “I understand why people don’t give this opportunity, they don’t want people to make the Top 5. Dariush comes from a huge winning streak, coming from the same school as me, Chute Boxe. But that’s how I talked to Diego [Lima], is this the fight that would put me straight in contention for the belt?” the former champion pondered.
Also fitting the description of a winning fighter are top 10 prospects Rafael Fiziev and Arman Tsarukyan; the latter of whom voiced his interest in a bout opposite the Brazilian on Twitter:
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- A.J. McKee signs multifight deal with Bellator, expected to compete in lightweight grand prix – MMAJunkie.com
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Kelvin Gastelum claps back at Conor McGregor:
Aljo details his shoulder injury:
And the contenders circle:
Bryan Barberena and Ian Garry want to throw hands:
Paulo makes a funny:
Chris Curtis wants the short notice Robocop fight:
Marvin Vettori moves to Xtreme Couture:
Good Guy John:
Just scary really:
The morning view
Alexander Volkanovski rehashes his only professional loss:
Sean Strickland reacts to getting back to back main events:
The Weasle discusses Charles Oliveira’s return:
The many curses of the MMA world:
- Gunnar Nelson to fight Daniel Rodriguez at UFC 286 on March 18th (per Daniel Rodriguez IG)
- Kelvin Gastelum to be replaced by Sean Strickland opposite Nassourdine Imavov at UFC Vegas 67 (per Brett Okamoto)
- Da Un Jung to fight Devin Clark at UFC Vegas 69 on February 4th (per Cole Shelton)
- Lerone Murphey to fight Nathaniel Wood at UFC 286 on March 18th (per UFC)
- Guram Kutateladze to be replaced by Melquizael Costa opposite Thiago Moises at UFC 283 on January 21st (per Guilherme Cruz)
- Nurullo Aliev to fight Rafael Alves at UFC Vegas 70 on February 25th (per Nolan King)
UFC Roster Watch
Fighters removed this week:
- Mike Jackson
- Leah Letson
Fighters Added this week:
- Nick Aguirre
- Claudio Ribeiro
- Mateusz Rebecki
- Mateus Mendonca
- Jimmy Flick
- Francisco Prado
- Melquizael Costa
Credit to UFC Roster Watch
On this day in MMA…
On the 11th of January, 2002, Jens Pulver defeated 23-year-old BJ Penn to defend the UFC lightweight title at UFC 35: Throwdown.
In a fight for the ages that resulted in Pulver’s second defense of the belt, a majority decision in favor of the senior fighter saw “The Prodigy” suffer his first loss as a professional mixed martial artist.
Following the victory, Pulver would depart from under the UFC umbrella for several years, leaving the organization without a divisional champion. As such the UFC hosted a four-man lightweight tournament to crown a new lightweight king, however after the final bracket between BJ Penn and Caol Uno ended in a draw after five rounds, the title was scrapped altogether until 2006.
Half a decade later, in 2007, Penn and Pulver would meet once again in a title eliminator bout after starring opposite one another in the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter – this time with the Hawaiian emerging as the victor. He would go on to secure the lightweight title the following year.