Current UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveria believes he can knock out both Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor with ease.
Current UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira believes he can beat both Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor with ease. The Brazilian, who was crowned champion after beating Michael Chandler at UFC 262, is ready to fight both of them. McGregor and Poirier will first square off in their trilogy bout in July. However, it is reasonable to assume that the winner of that match will be first in line for a title shot.
As far as Oliveira is concerned, he is okay facing either of them.
“I never pick opponents. I’ve always been ready to fight. They are two huge names in the sport. Everyone knows a fight with McGregor involves a lot of money,” Oliveira told AGFight.
“Poirier, not so much, but they’re both great opponents. I’ll be ready. I believe in my jiu-jitsu against any of them.”
Oliveira’s unlikely rise to the top of the UFC mountain came thanks largely to him working on his game. His main strength was his focus on Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
However, the Brazil native has worked on his all-round game and believes he can take on – and beat – anyone. This includes both of Poirier and McGregor.
“A few years ago, Charlie was a jiu-jitsu guy. He would walk forward, eat shots and was a bit wary. Nowadays, I’m not afraid of trading shots with those guys.
“What’s funny is that once I start to trade shots, they’re the ones who want to take me down, to do what I can do better.
“This shows how much I’m evolving on the feet. It’s going to be a great fight, for sure. Charles is not just a jiu-jitsu fighter. He’s a well-rounded fighter, on the mat and on the feet. I do think they’ll all get knocked out, though.”
Oliveira didn’t do much talking prior to the main event bout. However, Chandler was confident coming into the match. And why wouldn’t he be?
The Bellator veteran made a stunning UFC debut when he knocked out Dan Hooker in the first round at UFC 257. His impressive win, therefore, put him right in the mix of the title picture.
He could have faced Daniel Poirier for the title had he not opted for the trilogy bout with Conor McGregor. Instead, it was Oliveira who got the nod.
Chandler predicted a first-round knockout win for himself. However, it was Oliveira who landed the KO blow 19 seconds into the second round.
That he survived a brutal onslaught in Round 1 to even make it this far made the win even sweeter. It’s taken Charles Oliveira long to ascend the throne – 11 years with UFC and 28 fights, to be exact.
However, no one can doubt him calling himself “the lion of lions” – which he did in his post-match interview.
So what does the future hold for these men? Oliveira will next face the winner of the Poirier-McGregor bout. The trilogy fight will main event the UFC 264 card.
The early favourite in that bout is Poirier, who humbled McGregor in their last fight earlier this year. However, it is unwise to count out McGregor.
As for Chandler, he might have to get in the back of the proverbial line. This wasn’t a bad outing by any means, but a loss is a loss and it may be a little while before he is back in the title hunt.