Charles Oliveira believes he should be fighting Dustin Poirier for the vacant lightweight title next time out.
After Poirier knocked out Conor McGregor in the main event of UFC 257 and Khabib Nurmagomedov confirmed his retirement, many assume “The Diamond” would fight for the vacant belt. Who he would face is uncertain, but Oliveira believes it has to be him.
“That’s the fight to make,” Oliveira said to MMAFighting. “Dustin Poirier himself said this is the fight to make. I’m coming off eight straight wins, and I’m not playing games in the division, and he knows that.
“What’s left? There’s nowhere to go. The UFC gave me Tony Ferguson on 20 days’ notice, ‘The Boogeyman,’ and you all saw what happened. They put Dustin Poirier against Conor McGregor – everybody knows how important [McGregor] is for the promotion – and look what Dustin Poirier did. Don’t we deserve this title fight? This is the fight to make.”
Charles Oliveira knows Dustin Poirier is very well-rounded and it would be a tough fight for him. However, the Brazilian is confident he would either KO or submit Poirier.
If Oliveira does end up finishing Dustin Poirier, Oliveira believes he could entice Khabib Nurmagomedov to return from his retirement.
“You have to respect the man, 29 wins in a row, never lost in his career,” Oliveira said. “He’s dominated everyone he’s fought, he’s beaten the big names in the division. But he hasn’t fought me, so he can’t say he’s levels above everyone. He can say he’s better than the ones he fought. Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, he fought them both, so he can say he’s better than those two, but he can’t say since he never fought me.
“Me beating Dustin Poirier and becoming champion, that could definitely entice him to return, and if he does, he goes straight for the belt. But I don’t see him coming back. He made a promise over his father’s grave, so let’s focus on what has to happen here, which is Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier for the lightweight belt.”