Charles Oliveira will be at cageside at UFC 264 this Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Oliveira’s presence could all but confirm that he will be fighting the winner of the match between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier next.
Poirier is still the -128 betting favorite to win the fight at the BetOnline App.
UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira will be at cageside on Saturday when Conor McGregor faces Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 264.
This was confirmed by MMAFighting’s Guilherme Cruz who recently spoke with the newly minted lightweight champ:
Alaelson Albuquerque, Charles Oliveira’s conditioning coach, passed away this past Friday. Albuquerque, 48, died of complications caused by COVID-19 (heart attack days after being hospitalized).
Oliveira will fly to Vegas on Thursday to be cageside for Poirier vs. McGregor 3. pic.twitter.com/TPtsbSACq8
— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) July 5, 2021
Oliveira’s presence at UFC 264 may confirm the rumors that the event’s headliner is a title eliminator. After all, Poirier is the division’s no. 1 contender who passed up on the opportunity to fight for the belt in favor of a lucrative third bout with McGregor.
Poirier Still Favored Over McGregor
Four days and counting until #UFC264. As expected – getting great action.
Dustin Poirier the -128 favorite vs Conor McGregor (+108).
55% of the cash so far on Poirier.
— Dave Mason (@DaveMasonBOL) July 7, 2021
With four days left before the bout, Poirier is still the slight betting favorite to emerge victorious on Saturday night. According to the BetOnline App, Poirier is still the -128 odds on favorite while McGregor is currently listed at +108. The same online sportsbook reports that as of Tuesday, 55% of the bets have been placed on The Diamond.
Poirier knocked out McGregor as a 9/4 betting underdog in their rematch at Fight Island last January 24th. The two fighters first fought at UFC 178 in 2014. In that bout, McGregor knocked out Poirier inside one round with a punch that was borderline to the back of the head. Three wins later, McGregor became the UFC featherweight champion with hi signature victory against Jose Aldo.
The Diamond meanwhile, won nine out of his next 11 bouts after that defeat, to become the interim lightweight champion at UFC 236. However, he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in his next bout for the undisputed lightweight title. After Khabib retired, Poirier was supposed to fight Oliveira for the belt but he chose a trilogy bout with McGregor which he claims is at least three times worth than what he would’ve made against Oliveira.
The new UFC lightweight champion, by second round TKO…
CHARLES OLIVEIRA 💥 pic.twitter.com/AzlCuzLA8i
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) May 16, 2021
After Poirier turned down the title fight, Oliveira went on to face former two-time Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler at UFC 262. After a back and forth slugfest, the Brazilian knocked out Chandler in the second round to become the new UFC lightweight champion.
Oliveira is on an absolute tear with nine consecutive wins including 8 via stoppage. During that span, only Tony Ferguson went the distance with Oliveira. Do Bronx holds the UFC record for most submission wins (14), most finishes (17), and most Performance of the Night bonuses won (11).
Although UFC President Dana White hasn’t confirmed it yet, It is widely believed that the winner of McGregor-Poirier 3 would be Oliveira’s first title challenger. Oliveira being at cageside on Saturday night only supports that belief. Don’t be surprised if Do Bronx enters the Octagon after the winner is declared.