Charles Oliveira’s Team Possibly Targeting Conor McGregor Following UFC 300 Match

It is well known that Charles Oliveira has been ultimately aiming to regain the UFC lightweight title through a rematch with Islam Makhachev, but it now seems his team could be eyeing another superstar to face.

Oliveira unfortunately missed weight for his 2022 matchup with Justin Gaethje, and wound up losing his title as a result. Despite the loss of his title, “do Bronx” would move forward and defeat Gaethje, setting up a vacant title fight with Makhachev. But, the Brazilian was unable to regain the belt in the fight with Makhachev, as he fell victim to a tightly cinched arm triangle choke in the second round.

Since then, Oliveira recorded a stoppage over Beneil Dariush by way of strikes last June, and now is scheduled to fight Arman Tsarukyan on the monumental UFC 300 main card.

Regardless of the heavy interest in regaining the title, Diego Lima, Oliveira’s lead trainer, expressed in a recent interview that a bout with former two division champion Conor McGregor could be the better move.

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“It would be great to fight McGregor,” Lima said. “McGregor has made history.

“Professionally speaking, [fighting him] would be incredible. If we had the opportunity to fight McGregor at welterweight after this fight, we would fight McGregor. But how about the belt? OK, we’ll fight the belt after that, God willing. But we know that with McGregor, the creature has become bigger than the creator. We know that if the opportunity came, McGregor already considered this fight. If we really had this opportunity, that’s the one we want.”

(h/t MMAFighting.com)

Of course, the expectation is that McGregor will square off with opposing Ultimate Fighter season 31 coach Michael Chandler at some point this year, but Oliveira’s coach feels that is not the right move for the UFC to make.

“Sucks, right? With all due respect to Chandler, I’m not taking anything away from him, but what is his history in the UFC? How many fights did he do in the UFC?” Lima said. “Of course, he sells, he has a name, I agree with that, but … [Justin] Gaethje, [Dustin] Poirier, Charles, Makhachev, they all have done more than Chandler in the UFC. Way more. So I don’t know if this fight will sell.

“Chandler kept waiting for McGregor and people forgot about Chandler. Respectfully, nobody knows he exists. Arman is on a roll, Gaethje too, Poirier did this fight. F***, look at Poirier’s fight. Poirier just had an incredible fight. I’m a fan of his. Chandler, poor guy, is sitting and waiting. He never won three in a row [in the UFC], never came close — OK, he fought for it, but never won the belt. He’s missing.

(h/t MMAFighting.com)

Additionally, Lima expressed confidence that Oliveira will rise to the occasion in his upcoming match versus Tsarukyan this month, and would do just the same in a bout with McGregor.

The landscape of things to come in the back half of 2024 are fairly unknown, and while it seems plans coming together for McGregor, you never know what could change.

“Our idea against Arman is to be as smart as possible. Charles has more reach, so I want to use that reach and his movement to go for the knockout or submission at the right time. We don’t want to go the distance. ‘What round is it going to be?’ I’m studying that because Arman’s performance drops. We always study our opponents. … We saw a lot of Arman’s fights. Very explosive, very strong, fast. He moves a lot and likes to send that jab to follow up with a hard right, and our idea is to knock him out on the feet and submit him on the ground. I really believe in Charles by knockout. But anything can happen.”

“Honestly, with all due respect to McGregor, who is an amazing fighter, I believe Charles knocks him out,” Lima said. “Everybody talks about how smart it would be to take him to the ground. I agree with you, but the fight starts on the feet, and Charles has heavy, heavy hands now. Charles’ hands are incredible.”

(h/t MMAFighting.com)

 

 

Arman TsarukyanCharles OliveiraConor McGreogrDiego LimaIslam MakhachevJustin GaethjeMichael ChandlerMMAUFCUFC 300