Charles Oliveira believes he has more tools in his game than Dustin Poirier.
Oliveira will look to defend his lightweight title for the first time when he faces Poirier in the UFC 269 headliner taking place on December 11 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Despite being the champion, many still regard Poirier as the true king of the 155-pound division following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement.
Oliveira doesn’t care too much as he believes he’ll still have question marks even if he defeats Poirier.
“Someone else will show up when I win and be like, ‘Oh, you have to beat this one now, you have to beat that one,’” Oliveira said in a recent interview. “We’ll keep on fighting, keep on making history, staying focused and centered. Putting on great fights. I wanted to fight the best, and I’ve been doing that.
“No one has such a gigantic winning streak like me, nine in a row with only one decision — and you all saw it, you can’t debate it. Many people say I have to beat Dustin to prove I’m the champion. I am the champion. I won [the belt] earlier this year and I’ll defend my belt now.”
Charles Oliveira: You Know What Happens If I Take Him Down
For most observers, Poirier’s path to victory is getting the knockout.
However, with Oliveira, he not only has his improved striking — which earned him a second-round knockout win over Michael Chandler to win the belt earlier this year — but his dominant grappling and jiu-jitsu game.
And so, “Do Bronx” feels confident in his abilities to come out on top.
“On [December] 11, we’ll be there to prove who’s best and who’s not the best,” Oliveira said. “There’s not much to say. We’ll only know when we face each other. I trust myself, I believe myself. I think I have way more weapons than him. All you guys that think [he’s No. 1], watch his last fight and watch my last fight, see what I’m good at and what he’s good at, and match it all up to see what happens.
“Strikers took him down way too easily, and you know what happens if I take him down. If he trades on the feet with me, you know I’m hitting hard, brother. It will be fire on the 11th. I have firepower in my hands, I have my jiu-jitsu. I respect him a lot, but I want to remain champion, I want to keep this belt here. I couldn’t care less what others say or criticize. It’s about time I take all that inside my head and look at what people say on Instagram.”
Who do you have winning at UFC 269 between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier?