Charles Oliveira Tempted By Conor McGregor Fight Next, Insists Only A ‘Fool’ Would Turn Down Payday

Following his successful UFC lightweight title defense just last weekend, it appeared all systems go in regards to a May title showdown between champion, Charles Oliveira, and former interim champion, Justin Gaethje. However, days later, Oliveira maintains he would be foolish to turn away a lucrative payday in the form of a title defense against Conor McGregor first.

Oliveira, who headlined UFC 269 on Saturday, scored the first defense of his lightweight crown with an eventual third round standing rear-naked choke win against another former interim titleholder, Dustin Poirier.

The Sao Paulo native shared a moment of embrace with the aforementioned, Gaethje backstage following his win, with UFC president, Dana White confirming Gaethje had earned his shot at spoils off the back of a UFC 268 win over Michael Chandler. 

However, a certain spanner appears to be making its way toward the works in the form of the above mentioned former two-weight champion, McGregor. 

In the days following Oliveira’s win, McGregor questioned as to what date he would sharing the Octagon with the Brazilian – who in turn offered to meet him in a short notice, albeit impossible, impromtu UFC Vegas 45 headliner this weekend.

Despite Gaethje’s climb to #1 in the rankings in place of the fallen, Poirier, Oliveira remained coy on possibly fighting him next, as well as entertaining a lucrative fight against the now #9 ranked, McGregor instead, given the fact he has now already secured the undisputed lightweight throne. 

If I had the chance (in the past) to fight for the belt or fight Conor (McGregor), everybody knows I’d fight for the belt,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting reporter Guilherme Cruz on the Trocacao Franca podcast. “That already happened, I’m the champion now. The champion has a name and his name is Charles Oliveira – Charles ‘Do Bronx’. If I haf the chance to fight Conor for money today, I would. The belt is mine and continues being mine. We’ll continue building our legacy and making history.

Of course, no one’s a fool,” Oliveira explained. “‘No, I’ll fight someone else because of the belt, leave Conor alone’ – who’s going to do that? Only a fool. If I had the opportunity to fight Conor, I would definitely fight Conor. The belt is mine regardless. The division has to get by and wait a little bit. There’s nothing else to do . We have to think about our families, our children, think about what we can do down the line.

Whilst initially entertaining an immediate title defense against McGregor next, Oliveira maintained that he would have no issues matching with former interim gold holder, Gaethje next if a bout with the Dubliner failed to come to fruition. 

That happened to me. I was the #7 in the rankings and wanted to fight (top contenders) and they (the UFC) didn’t want to,” Oliveira said. “The champion has a name now, we’re part of the same organization, and I’ll fight whoever the UFC puts against me. If they say it’s Conor, I’ll fight him. If they say it’s Justin (Gaethje), I’ll fight him. I just want to go home now and get some rest with my daughter and go back to the cage as soon as possible.


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Ross Markey

An MMA fan since 2011 and covering the sport since 2016, Ross Markey has built himself into a top journalist in combat sports.

First catching on to MMA and the UFC in particular back when Brock Lesnar fought Shane Carwin, and even more so when he fought Alistair Overeem back in 2011, Ross really became enchanted with the sport from late-2013-2014 onwards.

He initially began covering MMA in tandem with football back in June 2016 just as he was finishing school. The first real event he covered on his own personal blog was UFC 200 in July of that year during international fight week. His content consisted of previews and event and results recaps. In between jobs, Ross produced content on the side before transitioning to a full-time position back in early 2019.

He initially started creating content on his own blog back in June of 2016, before becoming a staff writer, lead writer, and editor for websites such as MMA Motion, Combat Insiders, Fight Bananas, FightPost, Severe MMA, MMA Power Hour, FightBook MMA, LowKick MMA, and of course, Current MMA.

Back in 2019, Ross received the award Top Journalist of 2019 for FightBook MMA, before he was then promoted to the website's lead writer. Following a six-month period at MMA Power Hour, he was also employed as a junior editor for the company. Throughout his time in the industry, he has interviewed the likes of Colby Covington, Rhys McKee, Pedro Carvalho, Felicia Spencer, Eryk Anders, Jussier Formiga, Danni Neilan, Frans Mlambo, Alex Lohore, Blaine O'Driscoll, Modestas Bukauskas, Ross Houston, Jon Fitch, and Richie Smullen.

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1 Comment

  1. […] In the time since, Oliveira has entertained both future title fights against another former interim titleholder, Justin Gaethje, as well as the returning, McGregor – claiming that only a foolish person would reject a bout agreement to fight the latter, in a bid to s…. […]

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