Former undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira has welcomed the possibility of fighting current division best, Islam Makachev in the future, before the end of this year, in fact – claiming he simply had an off night during their October matchup in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Oliveira, the current #1 ranked lightweight contender, headlined UFC 280 back in October on ‘Fight Island’, in a vacant title fight against Makhachev – seeing his division-best 12-fight winning streak halted courtesy of a second round arm-triangle submission loss.
Yet to be booked for an Octagon return at the time of publication, Sao Paulo favorite, Oliveira has been linked with a title-eliminator against the surging, Beneil Darush in his next Octagon walk. And has teased a potential return to active competition as soon as April or May of this year.
Charles Oliveira plans title rematch with Islam Makhachev
Planning for the coming year, Oliveira, a staple of Chute Boxe under head coach, Diego Lima, has plans to fight at least twice – preferably the second of those outings come on home soil in Brazil.
“We have to aim high,” Charles Oliveira told fans during a Q&A session at UFC 283. “Maybe fight in the United States in May and then come back to fighting in Brazil by the end of the year – if it’s in Sao Paulo, even better – and who knows, maybe fight for the belt again. That would be great.”
Less than satisfied with his performance against Makhachev last year, Oliveira claimed he just had an off night against the Dagestan native, before noting his interest in securing a title rematch against the latter in the future.
“With all due respect, I had 10 minutes off on a bad night,” Charles Oliveira said. “I wouldn’t change anything to fight Islam Makhachev. This fight will happen against. Be sure of that, this fight will happen. I’ll fight in April or May, no matter who it is, and God will bless me with a win, and I’ll have my rematch with Islam Makhachev by the end of the year.” (Transcribed by MMA Fighting)
Minting himself as the undisputed lightweight champion back in 2021 with a knockout win over Michael Chandler, Oliveira would successfully defend the title on one occasion with a submission win over former interim titleholder, Dustin Poirier. Oliveira also defeated Justin Gaethje back in May in a non-title fight.