Coach Makes Case for Charles Oliveira to Receive Next UFC Lightweight Title Shot

July 8, 2024
Longtime Charles Oliveira coach Diego Lima believes “do Bronx” is the most logical contender for the next lightweight title shot.

Oliveira was dethroned by Islam Makhachev via second round submission at UFC 280 on October 2022 in Abu Dhabi. Oliveria subsequently knocked out Beneil Dariush to earn an immediate rematch against Makhachev at the same venue a year later at UFC 294. However, “do Bronx” was forced out on 10 days’ notice due to a gruesome cut suffered in sparring. The Brazilian was replaced by Alexander Volkanovski, who suffered a brutal head kick knockout against Makhachev.

Oliveira then dropped split decision against fellow contender Arman Tsarukyan in a title eliminator at UFC 300. While Tsarukyan was offered an immediate title shot against Makhachev, who was adamant on fighting in the summer, “Ahalkalakets” turned it down due the quick turnaround.

Although Makhachev had expressed interest in fighting Justin Gaethje as well, “The Highlight” suffered a lopsided TKO loss against former featherweight champ Max Holloway at UFC 300. The title shot ultimately went to Dustin Poirier courtesy of stoppage win against Benoit St. Denis at UFC 299 this past March.

Poirier gave Makhachev a run for his money en route to a fifth-round submission loss in the main event at UFC 302 on June 1. Makhachev is next expected to defend his title at UFC 308 in October in Abu Dhabi. While Tsarukyan should ideally be the next title contender, the Armenian is currently suspended for throwing a punch at a fan at UFC 300. With Tsarukyan out of action, Lima has made it clear to the UFC that Oliveira is eyeing the next title fight against Makhachev.

“They talked a lot, we talked. I told him my idea, what I would like. But now we have to wait for them to also come up with what they think for Charles,” Lima told Ag.Fight (translation via Championship Rounds). “They really like Charles. They want the best for Charles. And I certainly made it clear that we wanted to return to the belt path. Both Charles and I want the belt.

“Now with Arman suspended, there would be no name other than Charles Oliveira. Charles is second in the rankings and if you look at the rankings, there’s no one to fight with Makhachev. Poirier just fought, Gaethje also got knocked out. So the truth is that with Arman out of the game I believe there is no one at 155 to fight Makhachev other than Charles.”

While the NSAC banned Tsarukyan for nine months, it will be reduced to six months if he participates in an anti-bullying public service announcement, making him eligible to compete by Oct. 12 — two weeks ahead of UFC 308 on Oct. 26.


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