As of this month, the UFC has a new lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira, who defeated Michael Chandler at UFC 262. The Brazilian fertilized the impressive series in the best possible way and now he can wait for his next challenges from the throne.
And there are enough of them and whoever is next, will need to be very ready for it. What will certainly not be his next challenge is the man who held the title before him: Khabib Nurmagomedov. Although the fight between the two of them, primarily from the stylistic aspect, seems very exciting, Khabib is retired which he intends to adhere to.
Many were still surprised that Oliveira did not call him out, but he did not consider it as an option at any time. Why this is so, he explained in an interview with MMA Fighting. "A lot of people ask me why I didn't wear a T-shirt with messages for Khabib or why I didn't tell him something in the end.
Khabib is a great champion, he is 29-0 and deserves all the respect of this world." "He was dominant without deviating from his style. He retired because his father had passed away and therefore deserved even more respect."
"He swore at his father's grave that he would not fight again and if it was up to me to say something to persuade him to return, I would rather that he remained retired." "Everyone would love to see that fight, me too, but I don’t see myself as someone in his shadow.
He says he beats everyone in the division but he didn’t beat me."
"But he beats everyone he fought with and deserves all the respect of this world. The new lightweight champion is Charles Oliveira, someone who comes into the fights to finish them."
"A new history of this category has begun to be written. What Khabib has done is absolutely wonderful, but it is time for a new era. Charles Oliveira." At the moment, it looks like the winner of the UFC 264 fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier will be Oliveira’s first challenger.
By mid-July, when that fight will take place, he has plenty of time to rest and think about what he can offer against either of them. Dana White has already announced that he will be watching this fight from the front row, which is just an opportunity for an automatic initial step in building his first title defense.
And we don’t have to worry about whether it will be spectacular. Charles has already confirmed that his fights are like that, and nothing is different with Conor and Dustin. Although Khabib left it, the UFC’s lightweight category is still perhaps the most interesting in the entire promotion.