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Charles Oliveira Willing to Face McGregor Over Gaethje

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Open to The Idea

Charles Oliveira successfully defended his UFC lightweight championship against Dustin Poirier at UFC 269. Not long after that, Conor McGregor set his sights on the reigning champion.

“So what date am I fighting Oliveira?” tweeted McGregor. The question seems absurd considering ‘Notorious’ hasn’t won a fight in almost two years and is winless in three of his last four, including back-to-back losses to Dustin Poirier, the man Oliveira just finished via submission. However, It sounds like Oliveira is open to the idea.

During an appearance on MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca, Oliveira discussed his back-and-forth with McGregor on Twitter and suggested that McGregor could very well jump the line and compete for the UFC’s lightweight title despite his lack of wins over the last few years.

“If I had the chance [in the past] to fight for the belt or fight Conor, everybody knows I’d fight for the belt,” Oliveira said. “That already happened, I’m the champion now. The champion has a name, and his name is Charles Oliveira, Charles ‘do Bronx.’ If I had the chance to fight Conor for money today, I would. The belt is mine and continues being mine. We’ll continue building our legacy and making history.”

Despite his slumps, McGregor is still highly marketable. McGregor has headlined the top six most successful pay-per-view events in UFC history in terms of buys. That includes his last two appearances against ‘The Diamond.’ 

“Who The Hell Knows”

“If I had the opportunity to fight Conor, I would definitely fight Conor. The belt is mine regardless. The division has to get by and wait a little bit. There’s nothing else to do. We have to think about our families, our children, think about what we can do down the line.” 

At this point, there is no official timetable for a McGregor return. Summer 2022 is speculated, but could McGregor really jump the line and challenge for a title in 2022? Well, Dana White certainly didn’t dismiss the idea.

“If you look right now at the rankings, Conor McGregor is ranked No. 9 in the world [at lightweight],” said White while speaking to Daniel Cormier. “So, who the hell knows what this thing’s going to look like by the time he comes back? So, I couldn’t honestly answer that question. I’ve said it publicly a million times. Conor McGregor literally would fight anybody. I’m telling you.”

Conor McGregor certainly isn’t going to turn down a lucrative title fight upon return. Charles Oliveira sounds more than willing to hold up the lightweight division to cash in on a fight with McGregor. Dana White is well aware of McGregor’s drawing power to the UFC, and he did not dismiss the idea. 

So is Oliveira vs. McGregor really that far-fetched? Probably not, but I wouldn’t want to be the one to tell Justin Gaethje.

Follow me on Twitter at @SuperbeastCraig to see my latest work. Follow us on social media at @OTHeroicsMMA to stay up to date with all things MMA.

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