Charles Oliveira missed his opportunity at the lightweight title after sustaining a cut to his eye, which left him unable to compete at UFC 294. The current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski stepped in for the Brazilian, but he lost to Islam Makhachev. It seems Oliveira will be next in line for the title, and speaking on the MMA Hour, the former lightweight champion explained his mindset.
Charles Oliveira Is Next
Now that he has beaten Volkanovski, Makhachev has a lot of exciting options in terms of what he can do next. Many people wonder what is next for the champion, with Justin Gaethje calling for his shot at the title. However, in the interview, Oliveira still thinks he is next in line for a crack at the belt.
“Whoever the UFC says he’s going to fight, they’re going to fight,” Oliveira said through a translator. “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.”
It Doesn’t Matter Who Has The Belt
Sometimes, things don’t work out how you expect them too, and Oliveira is willing to do anything to get him closer to the undisputed gold.
“No one has said anything,” Oliveira said when asked about any updates from UFC matchmakers. “They know who I am, what I’m all about, and that 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 will continue to train, prepare, and try to get up to 100 per cent, just like I was right before this fight. When I’m 100 per cent, that’s when I’ll be ready to fight.”
“I want the belt,” he later added. “Whoever’s got that belt doesn’t matter who has it. I want that belt.”
Oliveira Reacts To UFC 294 Main Event
It was a very intriguing main event at UFC 294, and Oliveira gave his take on it.
“I’ve said this before,” he said. “This only goes to show with what I’ve said before, the evolution of Islam’s game of standing up. What a read that he had of that fight. I started kicking low and just ended up kicking high.
“Kudos to him, all props to him, and also all the props as well to Volkanovski for actually taking that fight on short notice. I respect both of them, and they’re great fighters. Islam is a great champion, and all respect to both fighters. It shows his evolution as an MMA fighter.”
All quotes via MMA Fighting
Oliveira is an incredible fighter and puts on spectacular fights; seeing him back in action for the title will be great.
Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images