Charles Oliveira announced himself in the UFC lightweight title picture with a superb victory over Tony Ferguson on Saturday night and he has now mapped out his route to the title.
The 31-year-old extended his winning streak to eight fights with the unanimous decision victory over El Cucuy, which puts him near the front of the queue for a title shot at 155lbs.
Khabib Nurmagomedov remains the champion, despite retiring after his last bout and insisting that he has no intentions to return to the Octagon.
Do Bronx feels Khabib will stick to his word and it makes sense for him to meet the winner of the January Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier fight for the vacant belt.
‘Khabib swore on his father’s grave that he wasn’t going to come back,’ said Oliveira. ‘When a man does that, I don’t think he’s going to come back. [Justin] Gaethje can go fight whoever. But I want the winner of Conor [McGregor] and [Dustin] Poirier.
‘I have eight wins in a row. Seven of those, I finished the fight. I don’t let it go to the judges’ hands. I finish fights. I’m in the position to be fighting for the belt.’
UFC president Dana White did say before Saturday’s fight that the winner could well be next in line for a title shot, stating: ‘Either guy that wins this fight could be in a title fight.’
After the win White said of Oliveira: ‘He is definitely one of the best in the world in the nastiest division in the sport.’
The Brazilian is not fussed who he faces in the proposed title fight, despite knowing that a bout with McGregor will boost his bank balance more than one with Poirier.
‘I don’t really think there is a preference,’ Oliveira added. ‘I want to fight for the belt. That’s been my dream and my team’s dream.
‘Obviously fighting Conor involves a lot of other things. It’s a lot of money and a lot of other things that maybe a fight with Dustin wouldn’t involve but we really want to win the belt. It really doesn’t make a difference.”
‘So next week I’ll be fine. I haven’t lost a fight since Paul Felder and I was in the gym a week after that. So, Dana [White] just call my manager if you want me to fill in.’
McGregor and Poirier meet on January 23 at UFC 257 when the title picture will become much clearer.
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