Charles Oliveira may not officially be the UFC’s lightweight champion after a missed weight cut led to him being stripped of the belt despite beating Justin Gaethje last time out, but he’s still the divisional kingpin as he continues to ride an 11-fight winning streak.
As such he’s in a strong position to call for who he wants to fight next, and despite receiving criticism for it in some quarters, it appears he is still eager to go up against Conor McGregor, admitting that the reason is largely due to the fact it would be a massive fight financially for him.
“It would be a very good fight for me,” Oliveira said. “It would put a lot of money in my pocket, and [at this moment] that’s the most important thing. And it would also be really good for my legacy, for me to have in my story. Regardless, if he’s coming from defeat or not, he’s a guy who’s made history, so I think it would be great, but it’s not just up to me. If it were up to me, this fight would already be happening.”
And Oliveira is unapologetic for his motivations, despite being criticized for chasing the biggest money fight rather than who deserves the title shot – something the Brazilian ace had previously been critical of himself during his long climb to the top of the lightweight mountain.
“I have a daughter to raise,” Oliveira explained in his defense. “Everyone wants to fight Conor, it’s not just me who wants to. Everyone knows that fighting Conor is very profitable. I’m talking about money. And Conor knows that, that everyone wants to fight him.”
Nevertheless, while Oliveira thinks that the current No.4 ranked, 10-fight unbeaten Islam Makhachev still has more to prove before he’s worthy of a title shot, he’s confident he’d beat him if they do end up fighting.
“I don’t care about his fighting style,” Oliveira said. “What he does best, I do 10 times more. If he thinks that putting down everyone [on the ground] he [fought] is the same thing as [fighting] Charles Oliveira, he is completely wrong.”