UFC lightweight contender Charles Oliveira turned down a short-notice fight against Michael Chandler, confirmed UFC president Dana White.
Oliveira is one of the hottest fights on the planet right now, having won eight straight fights including a dominant performance against Tony Ferguson at UFC 255. Oliveira dominated the former interim champ, prompting White to call him one of the top-three lightweight fighters in the world. Oliveira himself believes that he should be next in line for a title shot and said he hopes to be in attendance at UFC 257 next week, ready to challenge the winner of Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier.
Oliveira hopes to be there as a fan, but according to White, he had the chance to make a quick turnaround and fight on the card. The UFC president confirmed that the matchmakers offered Oliviera a fight against Chandler on short notice. Although Dan Hooker eventually got the fight as he was rumored, and he’ll take on Chandler at UFC 257 next weekend, there was a time where Hooker getting the fight was in jeopardy. However, Oliveira had to say no because of a potentially tough weight cut.
“We offered him this fight (with Chandler), but he couldn’t make weight, so you can’t blame the guy for that,” White said (via TheMacLife.)
Oliveira has struggled with weight cutting in the past, so to cut weight a month after the Ferguson fight would have been very difficult and it’s understandable he said no to this short-notice opportunity. White also confirmed that Oliveira will still be in consideration to fight the winner of the UFC 257 main event between McGregor and Poirier for a belt depending on what happens with champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“Look at Oliveira. I mean, look at what this guy has done,” White said. “Coming off that performance that he just put on over Tony, it’s hard to overlook him.”
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