Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira is gearing up for a busy year.
‘Do Bronx’ has been out of action since his lightweight title fight against Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 in October. The Brazilian was famously previously stripped of his 155-pound championship in May, prior to a title defense against Justin Gaethje.
At UFC 280, it was all dominance from the Russian. Makhachev wound up dominating the former champion en route to a second-round submission win to claim gold. The defeat was Oliveira’s first since 2017, as the loss also snapped an 11-fight winning streak for him.
Nonetheless, Charles Oliveira isn’t looking to take any steps back for his return. In a recent interview with AgFight, the former champion stated his plans to return in March or April. Ideally, he would like to face a top contender in the lightweight division.
Beyond that, the Brazilian is hoping to get a rematch with Islam Makhachev as well. Oliveira believes that he’s just one fight away from a rematch with the Russian, and he plans to earn it next time out.
“I’ve been a long way from that belt,” Charles Oliveira said. “Today, I’m one fight away from him. UFC knows that – knows that I want. I didn’t come here to play, I came to make history want to fight around the end of March, April, that’s my timing. I need to fight on that date. And I need a guy who [is] winning, will definitely be the next challenger for the title.” (h/t LowKickMMA)
“He [Islam Makhachev] will fight now in February, so I, in March, April, caught a guy who puts me in front of the goal again for the title at the end of the year,” Charles Oliveira explained. “For sure [just one more fight to the belt]. Now I fight in March, April and at the end of the year for the title again.”