UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira says he understands why No. 1 contender Dustin Poirier is chasing money fights over the belt.
Oliveira defeated Michael Chandler via second-round TKO at UFC 262 in May to become the new UFC lightweight champion. After Poirier defeated Conor McGregor in their trilogy fight at UFC 264 in July, the initial plan was that “The Diamond” would be taking on “Do Bronx” near the end of the year for the 155lbs strap. However, Poirier has been far more busy taking to social media as of late and calling out the likes of Nate Diaz for money fights.
Although Poirier’s goal has always been the UFC title, he also realizes that there is a limited shelf life in this sport, and it appears as though he’s keener to taking these big money fights when he can. Speaking to AG Fight, Oliveira admitted that he can’t blame Poirier for chasing money fights. In fact, Oliveira said that he also would like to make more money.
“Today nobody wants to know about a belt, they don’t want to know about a belt. They want to know about ‘money’, about money in your pocket. The fight against Conor made a lot of money for Dustin Poirier, a fight against Nate will make a lot of money too. We are human beings. It depends a lot on each person. I would rather fight for the belt than for the money. I had a focus. I wanted to be UFC champion. Today I’m UFC champion, I want to make money, I want to have money in my pocket,” Oliveira said.
“So it depends a lot. If Dustin agrees to fight Diaz, is he wrong? No, it’s not wrong. He is right. You have to see what’s good for him. Everyone has to choose what is right for them. They considered my fight against Diaz and I said that if it was for the belt, I would fight. Before I fight for the belt. I had a focus, which was to fight for the belt. A lot of people said to me: ‘This fight will make you a lot of money’. And I said: ‘Okay, but money is not the focus now, I want to be UFC champion’. Today I’m UFC champion, now I want to make money. Everyone has a way to choose. Today I am the champion. I’m not worried about who will be or who will not be, who has to chase who will fight for the title, it’s them, it’s not me.”
Do you think Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier will happen next, or will Poirier take a money fight and Oliveira fight someone else in the meantime?