New UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira says he is “happy” to be the betting underdog against Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
Oliveira won the UFC’s vacant 155lbs belt when he knocked out Michael Chandler at UFC 262 in Houston, Texas. It was an incredible win by Oliveira, who has now won his last nine straight fights in the Octagon. After spending most of the first decade of his UFC career as essentially a gatekeeper at 145lbs and 155lbs, something changed with Oliveira over the last few years as he has transformed into one of the best lightweight fighters in the UFC.
Despite being the champion right now, when the odds were released for potential fights pitting Oliveira against either McGregor or Poirier, he opened up as the underdog for those fights. Speaking to MMAFighting.com’s Guilherme Cruz, Oliveira admitted that the odds don’t bother him at all and, if anything, it motivates him, even more, to pull off the upset.
“No, that makes me happy. I like being the underdog. I go there and prove it. Brother, I’ve made history ever since I got in the UFC. Every time people said I couldn’t do something, I went there and proved them wrong. When they gave me someone and said they would knock me out, I proved them wrong,” Oliveira said. “Every time they said someone would knock me out, they ended up beat up on the feet and shooting for takedowns. I show my firepower, my knockout power. I’ll tell you this, being the underdog or ‘the man of the hour’ makes no difference to me. What matters is what you can do in there. Every time you get in there is 50-50 and whoever has the best strategy and is better prepared will win.”
Do you think Charles Oliveira can pull off the upset against either Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier?