UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira has given his thoughts on his expected title defence against Dustin Poirier, and says he isn’t too bothered by talks of a potential fight between ‘The Diamond’ and Nate Diaz.
After finishing McGregor in their rematch at UFC 257, Poirier was expected to face Oliveira for the lightweight title, vacated by former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov four months after his retirement was made official in February.
Instead of fighting for the title however, Poirier opted to settle the score with McGregor in their rubber match at UFC 264 earlier this month, which he won by a doctor’s stoppage. Oliveira finished Michael Chandler two months ago at UFC 262 to win the vacant title.
During the UFC 264 post-fight press conference, Dana White said that Poirier is the next in line for a title shot. A few days later however, Nate Diaz challenged the Louisiana native to a middleweight fight on social media, which he informally accepted.
Not Sure About Poirier’s Plans
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Oliveira said that although Poirier deserves a title shot, he isn’t sure if that’s what he wants next, especially with a really intriguing money fight with Diaz on the table.
“I believe Dustin fought Conor because he knew he would be making a lot of money,” Oliveira said. “He passed on the belt to fight for money but knew that he would be next in line with a win. I don’t know what his plans are.”
The reigning champion isn’t bothered by the talks of a potential fight between Poirier and Diaz however, as he knows that he gets to call the shots now that he has the belt wrapped around his waist.
“I think that a fight with Nate would also give him a lot of money, but I don’t know what’s the logic behind that,” Oliveira said. “Every person thinks one way. I believe the right fight to make is Charles Oliveira-Dustin Poirier, but I’m not worried about it. I’m the champion. They are the ones that must run after me and the belt, not the other way around.”
Confident Of Beating Poirier
That being said, Oliveira is confident that he’d put a bad beating on Poirier before submitting him, should the two lock horns.
“I believe the firepower in my hands, but I think in a fight against Dustin, I believe I can submit him,” Oliveira said. “Working with my hands, with my strikes, I would definitely cause a lot of damage and then submit him. It’s going to be a war, a great fight. He deserves all the respect in the world, he has heavy hands and good jiu-jitsu, too, so I think it’s going to be a great fight, but I believe in my victory.”
Whoever is next in line to challenge the 31 year old Brazilian, he expects to make his first title defence in December.
“He deserves all the respect in the world for everything he’s done, but I’m not worried about what people bring to the table against me,” Oliveira said. “I worry about what I’m going to add to my game. I have firepower in both hands, everybody sees how much I’ve evolved on the feet, and I have my jiu-jitsu.
“It’s going to be a great fight, if this one really happens. It’s going to be a great show [for the fans], and I’m ready on the feet and on the ground. I’m well both mentally, physically and spiritually. I’m happy. Let’s go. We’ll be defending what’s ours in December.”
Who do you think wins the expected lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier?