Oliveira already looking beyond Makhachev towards McGregor fight
Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira has spoken on the possibility of a superfight against Conor McGregor in Brazil while warning the brash Irishman to watch what he says about him in his homeland.
Stripped of the 155lbs belt for being half a pound over on the scales before demolishing Justin Gaethje at UFC 274, Oliveira has a chance to get his hands on the prize again if he can get past 22-1 Islam Makhachev, who has Khabib Nurmagomedov in his corner.
That will be no easy feat at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi on October 22, but providing Oliveira can see off the Russian, a meeting with McGregor is likely and something that he'd be more than open to as communicated in the past and in a recent interview with ESPN.
"That'd be perfect," Oliveira reaffirmed when probed on a clash with former featherweight and lightweight champion McGregor on Brazilian soil.
"That's been my opinion for a long time. It'd be very good to fight against Connor," he added.
Then asked if as a religious man he had a gut feeling the fight with McGregor will happen and had foreseen it, Oliveira answered: "I know this. That's why I accepted this fight [against Makhachev]."
"That's the sole reason why you accepted this fight, because you will believe it will lead to Conor in Brazil?" it was posed to the 32-year-old, who clarified that he accepted the meeting with Makhachev because it was what was put in front of him, but should he top the Dagestani, he is sure that the UFC "will give him something better."
Confirming that rumors of the McGregor fight being made in January in Brazil if all the pieces fall into place are accurate, Oliveira assured that he could quickly ready himself to step into the octagon at the turn of 2023 after his October date with Makhachev.
"I already want it decided who my next opponent will be in January," Oliveira stated.
In a nod to how McGregor offended a nation when trash-talking the country and one of its greatest ever fighters in Jose Aldo before beating the Rio native in 13 seconds in December 2015 to become featherweight champion, Oliveira laughed and warned 'Notorious' that he would have to be very careful about what he says in South America's largest country when asked how it would receive him.
"Especially when it involves me. This is me [we're talking about]," said Oliveira with a smile.
In much better spirits than when he recently went on a passionate rant warning Makhachev and Nurmagomedov that their arrogance will "kill" and "drown" them, Oliveira is now just two months out from fight night.
Providing things go his way, a 'red panty night' against McGregor has been tipped for the Neo Quimica Arena and home to his favorite football team in Sao Paulo, Corinthians, which holds 49,000 punters on matchday.