Charles Oliveira is only targeting a title fight with Dustin Poirier next.
Poirier is coming off arguably the biggest win of his career after knocking out Conor McGregor in the UFC 257 headliner this past weekend.
He has since labeled himself the champion given that Khabib Nurmagomedov looks likely to remain retired and it’s hard to argue against that.
That said, Oliveira — currently on an eight-fight winning streak — feels he should be facing Poirier to officially crown the next lightweight champion.
“That’s the fight to make,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting. “Dustin Poirier himself said this is the fight to make. I’m coming off eight straight wins, and I’m not playing games in the division, and he knows that.
“What’s left? There’s nowhere to go. The UFC gave me Tony Ferguson on 20 days’ notice, ‘The Boogeyman,’ and you all saw what happened. They put Dustin Poirier against Conor McGregor – everybody knows how important [McGregor] is for the promotion – and look what Dustin Poirier did. Don’t we deserve this title fight? This is the fight to make.”
“Do Bronx” is well aware of the dangers Poirier brings in a fight.
However, he feels it is his time now and no fighter out there can stop him from being the new UFC lightweight champion.
“Dustin Poirier is really tough on the feet and on the ground,” he said. “Everybody knows I’m evolving on the feet, and I don’t shy away from trading with anyone. But also everybody knows how dangerous I am when I take people down.
“I respect everyone, but this is my moment and my time. I’ll be the UFC champion in 2021. Knockout or submission, it doesn’t matter, my hands will be raised in the end.”
Can Oliveira Bring Khabib Out Of Retirement?
UFC president Dana White hinted Nurmagomedov’s retirement was final after he revealed the latter felt none of the lightweights were on his level following UFC 257.
Oliveira agrees — except for the fact that “The Eagle” is yet to face him yet. And the Brazilian is hoping a win over Poirier can entice Nurmagomedov to come back.
However, he acknowledges it is unlikely.
“You have to respect the man, 29 wins in a row, never lost in his career,” Oliveira added. “He’s dominated everyone he’s fought, he’s beaten the big names in the division. But he hasn’t fought me, so he can’t say he’s levels above everyone. He can say he’s better than the ones he fought. Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, he fought them both, so he can say he’s better than those two, but he can’t say since he never fought me.
“Me beating Dustin Poirier and becoming champion, that could definitely entice him to return, and if he does, he goes straight for the belt. But I don’t see him coming back. He made a promise over his father’s grave, so let’s focus on what has to happen here, which is Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier for the lightweight belt.”
Poirier vs. Oliveira is certainly the fight to make for the lightweight title. Whether it happens remains to be seen for now.