Current UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira was Octagon-side at UFC 264 to watch Dustin Poirier’s second consecutive victory over Conor McGregor, and with the two now expected to fight later this year, ‘Do Bronx’ believes he has the skill-set to finish ‘The Diamond’ inside the distance.
“I believe the firepower in my hands, but I think in a fight against Dustin, I believe I can submit him,” Olliveira told MMAFighting.com. “Working with my hands, with my strikes, I would definitely cause a lot of damage and then submit him.
“It’s going to be a war, a great fight. He deserves all the respect in the world, he has heavy hands and good jiu-jitsu, too, so I think it’s going to be a great fight, but I believe in my victory.”
Oliveira certainly has the resume to back up his beliefs. After all, he’s now won nine fights in a row inside the Octagon, and has shattered numerous records along the way, including now holding the most submission wins in UFC history (14), most ‘Performance OF The Night’ bonuses (11) and he also has the highest finishes-per-win percentage in UFC history (93.75%).
It’s been a remarkable run, and perhaps most pleasingly for the Brazilian will be the fact that despite his well-established credentials as a deadly submission specialist, his rise to the title has coincided with a marked improvement in his striking, as evidenced by the fact that three of his last five wins have by way of either TKO or KO.
As such, it’s his continued evolution as a mixed martial artist that is fuelling Oliveira’s confidence as he prepares for his as-yet not officially confirmed title showdown with Poirier.
“He deserves all the respect in the world for everything he’s done, but I’m not worried about what people bring to the table against me,” Oliveira said of Poirier. “I worry about what I’m going to add to my game. I have firepower in both hands, everybody sees how much I’ve evolved on the feet, and I have my jiu-jitsu.
“It’s going to be a great fight, if this one really happens. It’s going to be a great show [for the fans], and I’m ready on the feet and on the ground. I’m well both mentally, physically and spiritually. I’m happy. Let’s go. We’ll be defending what’s ours in December.”