Paul Felder believes Charles Oliveira has what it takes to keep his UFC Lightweight Title reign going for quite a while.
Oliveira captured the gold back in May when he stopped Michael Chandler via second-round TKO. He had his first title defense against Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 269 on Dec. 11. The man known as “do Bronx” emerged victorious, securing a third-round submission finish via rear-naked choke.
Paul Felder On Renewed Charles Oliveira
The last time Charles Oliveira lost a fight was back in June 2018. That loss came at the hands of Paul Felder. Speaking to Helen Yee, Felder praised Oliveira for turning things around and expressed his belief that “do Bronx” might hold onto the 155-pound gold for a long time.
“I think he can, I really do. I think the way he’s evolving, the way he’s just getting more stronger and confident I think that’s the key for him. Years ago, even when I beat him, he seemed a bit broken.
“He didn’t know where he wanted to be, whether it was gonna be 145 or 155. I remember from my fight he posted a picture of the scale for his Instagram and it was 155.5. This is three days before weigh-ins. So, he’s clearly trying to show the UFC, ‘Look, I wanna be 145.’
“But I think after I beat him and then he went on that absolute tear, he found that confidence, he changed whatever he needed to and now I think he’s got what it takes to be atop of that division for a long time.”
Who Should Be Next For The Champion?
Felder knows that Oliveira may want to go after a huge payday against Conor McGregor but it’s not the route he wants to see him take.
“If you ask me, and I’m going by the numbers, I think it’s Gaethje for sure for me, then the winner of Islam and Beneil, that’s the next contender. There’s no doubt in my mind but Conor’s that wrench in everything and whether we like it or not, the guy [draws].
“So, if Charles tries to do that I mean I can’t technically blame him. You want that money fight but that’s not what it should be. It should be Gaethje and then it should be the winner of Islam and Beneil.”
UFC President Dana White has seemingly already committed to Justin Gaethje being next in line for Oliveira. As for Islam Makhachev vs. Beneil Dariush, that bout could very well determine who meets the winner of Oliveira vs. Gaethje.