Reigning UFC lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira appears more than willing to remain active, and even move up or down divisions – in search of a second promotional championship against either welterweight kingpin, Kamaru Usman, or featherweight titleholder, Alexander Volkanovski.
Oliveira, who most recently featured back in December in the main event of UFC 269, stopped former interim gold holder, Dustin Poirier with a third round standing rear-naked choke to successfully defend his undisputed lightweight crown.
In the time since, the Sao Paulo grappling sensation has welcomed both May showdowns against another former interim titleholder, Justin Gaethje, or a lucrative clash with former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor.
In the midst of a 10-fight winning spree, Oliveira, who once competed at featherweight earlier in his UFC tenure, struggled consistently to make the division weight-limit, however, that hasn’t stopped him welcoming a division drop against the aforenoted, Volkanovski, or even a weight class leap against welterweight phenom, Usman.
“I really thought I couldn’t drop to 145 anymore,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting. “But this last weight cut (to lightweight), I was really (close to) 155 before the fight with this work we’ve been doing, with lots of water in the body, and we believe we could easily make 145.”
“If I had the opportunity to go straight for the 145 belt, I’d move down to fight,” Oliveira explained. “Also, if I had the opportunity to go straight for the 170 belt, I’d also move up to fight, but I believe it’s more viable to (go back) to 145 instead of going to 170 at the moment. Becoming a two-division champion, a Brazilian man, would be awesome.”
For Usman, the Auchi native successfully scored his fifth successful welterweight title defense back in November, scoring a second career win over Colby Covington.
As for City Kickboxing staple, Volkanovski, the Australian is still expected to headline UFC 272 on March 5. – despite the withdrawal of original challenger, Max Holloway, with a short notice reworked title bout against Chan Sung Jung currently in the works.
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