The former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira had to withdraw from the rematch against Islam Makhachev due to a heavy cut. Since Oliveira is the 1st ranked lightweight contender, he firmly believes that he is next for the title fight.
It will be interesting to see what the UFC matchmakers finalize with. There have been talks of Justin Gaethje being the next title challenger; perhaps a rematch between Oliveira and Gaethje will take place in order to decide the next title challenger.
Islam Makhachev said that he would fight anyone the UFC matches him up against; however, if he were to make a choice, he would fight Justin Gaethje because he hasn’t fought him before.
Charles Oliveira on what’s next
Recently on The MMA Hour, Charles Oliveira explained why he thinks he’s next for the title fight.
“Whoever the UFC says he’s going to fight, they’re going to fight,” Oliveira said, as quoted by mmafighting.com. “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”. Oliveira further said: “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. I want the belt, whoever’s got that belt, it doesn’t matter who has it. I want that belt”.