If he hadn’t got injured Charles Oliveira would have rematched Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 on Saturday night, but instead he had to sit on the sidelines and watch his rival KO Alexander volkanovski in the first round instead.
Now the former lightweight champion has spoken out about his takeaways from Makhachev’s performance that night as he looks to what he hopes will now be his own opportunity to fight him next.
“This only goes to show with the things that I’ve said before, the evolution of Islam’s game standing up,” Olvieira said on The MMA Hour show. “What a read that he had of that fight. Start kicking low and just ended up kicking high.
“Kudos to him, all props to him, and also all the props as well to Volkanovski for actually taking that fight on short notice. All the respect to both of them, they’re great fighters, obviously Islam is a great champion, and all respect to both fighters. It shows his evolution as an MMA fighter.”
with that fight out of the way, Oliveira is now eager to ensure that he remains at the front of the queue to fight Makhachev next.
“Everybody knows I’m next. First in the rankings, coming off of a great win, and ready to fight like I was before. I was ready for that fight until [the cut] happened, and I’m next in line.”
With that being said though, Oliveira says he hasn’t had official confirmation from the UFC yet that he will get that opportunity to attempt to avenge his 2nd round submission loss to Makhachev last year.
“No one has said anything. They know who I am, they know what I’m all about, they know that I’m going to train to become a champion. I’m training and I’m getting ready for it. They know what I’m all about. I don’t fight for money. I fight to make history and I fight for my legacy. So I’m going to continue to train, continue to get prepared and try to get up to 100 percent just like I was right before this fight. When I’m 100 percent, that’s when I’ll be ready to fight.”