On Saturday, Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira (32-8) successfully defended his UFC lightweight championship against Dustin Poirier at UFC 269. To the surprise of no one, Conor McGregor (22-6) has now set his sights on the lightweight champ.
McGregor took to Twitter to ask a straightforward question; “So what date am I fighting Oliveira?” McGregor followed that up with a tweet showing the Irish flag vs a Brazilian flag. As of this writing, Oliveira has not responded, but this is not the first time McGregor has tweeted about a lightweight title shot upon return.
In November, Conor tweeted (and then deleted) his intent to focus on whoever comes out of UFC 269, the lightweight champion.
“Hi lads, here goes,” McGregor wrote on Twitter. “Clicks and the like. Your boss and what not. The Mac. Santy Claus. I’m facing whoever the fuck has that LW title next. Deal with it. Take off your goggles and mark the trilogy ‘unfinished’. Deal with that too. The rest mentioned, after this. Deal. With. It.”
In his last two bouts, McGregor is winless, both against lightweight rival Dustin Poirier. During their fight in July, McGregor suffered a broken ankle that has since sidelined the former champ-champ. Despite losing three of his last four UFC bouts, McGregor has every intention of fighting for UFC gold upon his return.
McGregor is expected to return in the summer of 2022. By then, things in the lightweight division could look vastly different. Justin Gaethje (23-3) is next in line for a shot against Oliveira. No timetable has been set for the bout, but Dana White confirmed during the UFC 269 post-fight press conference that Oliveira vs Gaethje is the fight to make.
We also have a highly anticipated lightweight bout between Beneil Dariush (21-4-1), and Islam Makhachev (21-1) announced for Feb. 26. That bout will likely establish a new contender to face the winner of Oliveira and Gaethje.
Though things look pretty straightforward in the lightweight division right now, McGregor has the type of drawing power, despite his recent slump, that could change Dana White‘s mind. Should Gaethje succeed in his title opportunity, a firefight with McGregor may be more appealing to the masses than a heavy grappling affair between Oliveira and Dariush or Makhachev.
The only thing we can say for certain is that 2022 will be another fantastic year for the UFC. With new champions and a slew of contenders fighting for their shot, it’s an exciting time to be an MMA fan.