UFC lightweight contender Charles Oliveira sent a message to the top-five lightweights on the roster after landing Beneil Dariush next.
Oliveira is currently the No. 6 ranked lightweight, and after winning his last seven straight fights by stoppage, he has been busy calling out elite fighters in the division such as Conor McGregor, Tony Ferguson, and Dustin Poirier, hoping to land a marquee matchup with one of them. However, none of those fighters will be next for Oliviera. Instead, he recently signed a bout agreement to fight Beneil Dariush, the No. 11 ranked lightweight.
On paper, Oliveira vs. Dariush is an excellent matchup between two grapplers who have been rapidly improving their striking. However, if Oliveira’s plan is to get into the lightweight title picture, then a fight against a lower-ranked opponent won’t get him there.
Speaking to AG Fight, Oliveira praised Dariush as an opponent but also criticized the top-five lightweights for denying him a fight against them.
“(Dariush) is a guy who has a certain name and deserves all the respect, but he is a fighter who has entered 15 now. That’s what everyone knows, I wanted a guy who was in front of me. So, yes, I’m happy because he was the only guy who accepted this fight. But also, who wouldn’t accept it? Anyone who was down there would accept to fight one who is up there in the ranking. So, we have to worry because he is a very tough guy, both on the ground and in the striking part. But it certainly wasn’t the fight I wanted,” Oliveira said.
“The refusal was very uncomfortable, especially for those who talk a lot, who challenge, who talk smack on social networks, and when things happen they run. The UFC looks for, tries to settle fights, but the guys need to accept. (Dan) Hooker challenged me. I accepted the fight, why didn’t he accept it? Dustin Poirier doesn’t want to fight this year, he said he doesn’t fight this year anymore. I can’t wait until next year. The time is now, not later. Khabib and Gaethje will fight. Tony Ferguson lost and is all hurt, will he fight this year? Dan Hooker the same thing. Conor McGregor said he retired. Retired or not? I am a fighter, I was born to fight. How long will I wait for these guys? Don’t you want to fight? Get out of the way.”
Oliveira ended by sending a message to those standing in front of him in the rankings.
“The reality is this: there is no use running, there is no use hiding. Everyone is in the same boat, everyone wants the same thing, everyone wants to be a champion. I think that’s the mindset. I entered the UFC to be the champion, not just one more. So there is no use hiding, we are going to crash, we are going to hit the face for an hour. I’m in no hurry. I’m training and doing my part,” Oliveira.
Do you think Charles Oliveira has a point here?