Charles Oliveira Prefers Conor McGregor Fight Next Instead Of Islam Makhachev Clash

Charles Oliveira
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger - Zuffa LLC

Former undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira has made his message clear in regards to whom he prefers to take on next in the form of a vacant title fight at 155lbs – with a clear message of ‘money talks’.

Oliveira, the most recent lightweight champion, currently holds the #1 rank in the division following his May title stripping, however, is all but penned to challenge for a vacant division title next.

Headlining UFC 274 in Phoenix, Arizona – Oliveira forced a vacant title against former interim gold holder, Justin Gaethje, stopping the home town favorite with a brutal first round rear-naked choke in the ‘Copper State’.

Off the back of the dominant victory for the promotion’s most prolific submission ace, Oliveira has been continually linked with a vacant gold matchup against surging Dagestan force, Islam Makhachev.

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Charles Oliveira reveals he would choose to fight Conor McGregor next

Rumored to return at UFC 281 in October on ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Oliveira remains less than wholly sold on the vacant title matchup against Makhachev – maintaining that he would leap at the opportunity to land a significant paycheck in the form of a showdown with Dublin superstar, McGregor.

“If I must choose, it’d be Conor McGregor, as the guy who is putting the money in my bank account,” Charles Oliveira said at UFC X in Las Vegas ahead of UFC 276. “If I’m going to choose, I’m going to choose Conor McGregor.” 

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“The story with Conor has always been like that,” Charles Oliveira said in regards to McGregor potentially skipping the lightweight queue. “It was the same thing with Dustin Poirier. He always cuts the line and everyone knows that (happens) when Conor is on. He cuts the line. I think I deserve to choose and I’m choosing Conor because of everything I’ve done to make some money for my family and for everything. If I’m going to choose, I’m choosing Conor.” 

UFC president, Dana White recently provided an update on an Octagon return for the 33-year-old Crumlin native, insisting that McGregor is eyeing a comeback at the close of this year, if not early 2023 instead.

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And as for Oliveira, the Sao Paulo favorite has lined up his potential Octagon return in January of next year – ideally in a Brazil homecoming.

“People are talking about it so much,” Charles Oliveira said of a Brazil card next year. “I think they (the UFC) might want it to happen. For me, it’s not specifically. The UFC hasn’t told me anything yet. I want to fight by the end of the year, but if it’s at the end of the year, really, I would prefer to fight in January in Brazil, if that event happens.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.