Charles Oliveira says he will knock out either Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier in a possible title defense.
Oliveira won the UFC lightweight title by defeating Michael Chandler at UFC 262.
Poirier is currently the -120 betting favorite to beat McGregor.
UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira is one fighter who is keeping a close eye on UFC 264.
That’s because Oliveira’s next opponent could be the winner between the Conor McGregor-Dustin Poirier trilogy fight which is scheduled to headline next weekend’s event in Las Vegas.
According to Oliveira, he does not choose opponents. And while he thinks that his BJJ is far superior than both McGregor and Poirier, he also believes that he has evolved well enough to knock out both if he chooses to stand and trade with them.
Said Oliveira via Brazilian media outlet UOL:
I never choose opponents. I am always ready to fight. They are two big names in the sport, the lightweights. Everyone knows that a fight with Conor has a lot of money and one with Dustin not so much, but they are two great opponents. I don’t choose my fights. I will be ready. I really believe in my jiu-jitsu against either of them, but something tells me that if I fought them, I would knock them both out. I’m feeling fine.”
The New Lightweight Champion
Charles Oliveira TKOs Michael Chandler to win UFC lightweight title. https://t.co/Nx5i1isqT2 pic.twitter.com/9rLGgKASRL
— theScore (@theScore) May 16, 2021
The 31-year old Oliveira won the UFC lightweight title via a second round knockout of former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler at UFC 262. The title was officially declared vacant in March after Khabib Nurmagomedov left a void after retiring following his UFC 249 victory over Justin Gaethje.
Oliveira holds the UFC record for most wins via submission in promotion history with 14. He is also the UFC record-holder for most finishes with 17. Do Bronx has won his last nine bouts, picking up victories over the likes of Clay Guida, Jim Miller, Kevin Lee, Tony Ferguson, and Chandler during that stretch.
The Brazilian has ben fighting since 2008 and has a record of 31-8 with 09 knockouts and 19 submission victories. He needed 28 UFC bout to become champion, the longest route ever taken by a fighter to win a UFC title. Oliveira was supposed to fight Poirier for the belt. But the Diamond chose the money fight against McGregor over the opportunity to win the belt.
Poirier Slightly Favored to Beat McGregor
#UFC264 Action Report
Dustin Poirier -120
Conor McGregor +100
64% of the money is on Poirier pic.twitter.com/VCXmUHP1ar
— SportsBetting.ag (@SportsBettingAG) July 1, 2021
As of the latest betting odds dated July 1st, Poirier is a slight betting favorite to beat McGregor in their rubber match. According to online sportsbook SportsBetting.ag, the Diamond is a -120 to win the fight while the Notorious is currently listed at even money. The same online sportsbook is also reporting that 64% of the bets that they have received have been on Poirier.
While McGregor opened as the odds on favorite in this trilogy bout, watching Poirier turn the tide isn’t surprising with the betting money starting to come in. Poirier sensationally knocked out McGregor in the rematch last January at Fight Island. McGregor initially beat Poirier in their first meeting at UFC 178 but that was seven years ago in 2014 and Poirier has significantly improved as a fighter since that defeat.
The winner of the third fight between McGregor and Poirier is expected to become the number 1 contender in the lightweight division. With Oliveira recently winning the belt and nothing on his plate yet, it is also widely believed that the winner of the UFC 264 headliner will be Oliveira’s opponent in first title defense.