Charles Oliveira has disclosed that he won’t be prepared to fight Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 in October. Although he desires another opportunity at the lightweight title, Oliveira believes that the scheduled bout with the reigning champion is too soon for him. Following his impressive victory over Beneil Dariush in May, Oliveira was expected to be next in line to face Makhachev. However, the Brazilian has now revealed that he will need more time to be fully ready for the fight. He remains hopeful of facing Makhachev later in the year, but it appears unlikely as Makhachev is crucial to the UFC’s plans in Abu Dhabi.
Oliveira stated, “To be honest, we don’t have anything confirmed yet. They are still waiting, but October is too soon for me, especially if the fight is in Abu Dhabi. I’ll be really prepared by November or December, but October is too soon. But we don’t have any definite plans yet.”
UFC President Dana White had previously indicated that it made sense for Oliveira to be given the opportunity to challenge Makhachev after his victory over Dariush. However, if the lightweight title is still up for grabs in October, the promotion will need to consider alternative options. The upcoming main event at UFC 291 between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje could potentially be chosen, but a decision will likely be made after their fight on July 29. This would be an even quicker turnaround than Oliveira’s, who fought in May. Nonetheless, the chance to compete for the UFC gold may entice Poirier or Gaethje to take the risk.
As for Oliveira, he remains uncertain about his next steps but is willing to wait for a title shot, even if it means waiting longer than initially anticipated. He emphasized, “I just need to wait. I’m a UFC employee, so I just need to wait. It doesn’t matter to me. The one thing I can say for sure is that I’m not ready for October. However, I will be ready by November or December. I’m just waiting to see what they decide to do.”
The only certainty for Oliveira is his determination to reclaim the UFC lightweight title. His belt was stripped from him after he failed to make weight for his fight against Gaethje in May 2022. He then couldn’t regain it after his defeat to Makhachev seven months later. Oliveira affirmed, “I want to be the champ again, and I will be the champ again. Now I just need to wait and see what they decide to do. I can assure you that I will be the champ again; it’s just a matter of when.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC lightweight title fight delay
Q: Why won’t Charles Oliveira be ready to fight Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 in October?
A: Charles Oliveira has revealed that he believes October is too soon for him to face Islam Makhachev. He expressed his need for more time to prepare for the fight, especially if it takes place in Abu Dhabi. Oliveira expects to be fully prepared for the bout in November or December instead.
Q: Will Charles Oliveira still get a shot at the lightweight title?
A: Although Charles Oliveira wants another opportunity to fight for the lightweight title, it remains uncertain due to his unavailability in October. UFC President Dana White initially indicated that Oliveira would be next in line after his victory over Beneil Dariush. However, if the title is still up for grabs in October, the promotion may have to consider alternate plans.
Q: Who might be considered as a substitute for the lightweight title fight?
A: The upcoming UFC 291 main event between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje could potentially be considered as a substitute for the lightweight title fight. However, a decision on this will likely be made after Poirier and Gaethje’s fight on July 29. It would be a quick turnaround for either fighter, but the opportunity to compete for the UFC gold may entice them to take the risk.
Q: When does Charles Oliveira expect to be ready for a title fight?
A: Charles Oliveira stated that he anticipates being fully prepared for a title fight in November or December. While he acknowledges that October is too soon for him, Oliveira remains determined to reclaim the UFC lightweight title and is willing to wait for the right opportunity.
Q: Why was Charles Oliveira stripped of his belt?
A: Charles Oliveira was stripped of his belt after failing to make weight for his fight against Justin Gaethje in May 2022. Consequently, he was unable to retain the title.