Charles Oliveira is planning a return and has a timeframe in mind.
The UFC lightweight division is really steaming up. There is a new champion at the helm in Islam Makhachev. He will be taking on featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in his next outing, but his most recent opponent would like another shot at the belt. Former champion Charles Oliveira has been laying low since being beaten by Makhachev back in October, but now is preparing to make a run back to a title shot.
Oliveira is currently in Brazil on hand at the UFC 283 event in Rio de Janerio. Although he is not fighting on the card, Oliveira was able to speak with the media and gave a little insight into his plans.
Charles Oliveira has a timeline prepared that will have him fighting for the belt by the end of the year
Oliveira is currently ranked number one in the lightweight division, having come off the title shot loss. He has a timeframe in mind that he believes will set him up nicely to earn back his title in 2023. He spoke to The Mac Life about his plans.
“I would like to fight again in April or May, I think that is the time that I need,” he said. “Conor McGregor is not fighting you know, so I think we need to focus on the top of the division. After seeing the Christ with the belt it got me some energy to be back so my focus is to fight in April and then fight for the title at the end of the year.”
Oliveira has the spring in mind but is not too sure about the opponent. He is targeting the top of the division, and the only man in the top five that he has yet to face is Beneil Dariush. When asked about possibly taking that fight, he did not seem too interested.
“Everyone is talking about Dariush but I think I need to think about it with my mind, not with my heart,” he said. “If the UFC thinks he is the name then it’s fine but you know let’s see what they decide.”
A lot of what happens next in the lightweight division will depend on what comes at UFC 284 between Makhachev and Volkanovski. If Makhachev wins, Dariush might be next, or perhaps Dustin Poirier. If Volkanovski wins, he will most likely have to fight at featherweight against the interim champion. A win in his next fight could place Oliveira right where he wants to be in the division and being a former champion bodes well for his shot at the title.