Charles Oliveira wanted to prove that he’s ready for a title rematch with Islam Makhachev, and his performance at UFC 289 certainly convinced one of his rivals in the 155-pound division.
Oliveira defeated Beneil Dariush via first-round TKO to bounce back in style from his title loss to Islam Makhachev. And one man who has faced “Do Bronx” in the Octagon, Michael Chandler, said his former foe deserves the next shot at the gold.
Chandler recapped Oliveira’s performance against Dariush on his YouTube channel, as he walked viewers through the moments of the fight where the former champion turned the bout in his favor before eventually scoring the first-round finish.
The manner of Oliveira’s display convinced Chandler that the Brazilian deserves to jump back into a title rematch with Makhachev later this year.
“Hey, guys, Charles Oliveira is an absolute savage,” Chandler began as he paid tribute to the former champion’s performance in Vancouver.
“Charles Oliveira showed up under the brightest lights, the biggest opportunity, that title eliminator, to get him back to a title shot.
“It remains to be seen if he will get the next title shot against Islam Makhachev, but the way that he fought Saturday night at UFC 289 That dude looks like he is coming back for that title.”
Chandler is currently featuring on the 31st season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he’s coaching against Conor McGregor. The plan is for the pair to eventually face off in the Octagon later this year, but nothing has been confirmed and it remains to be seen whether the bout will come to fruition.
While Chandler’s immediate target might be McGregor, the former Bellator lightweight champion said he is also keen on facing Oliveira in the cage again one day. But, despite his professional desire to run it back and get revenge over the Brazilian, he offered fulsome praise of his rival and said he hoped to see him get the next shot at the lightweight belt.
“I think the biggest thing that needs to be said about this performance (is) this is a title eliminator. This is Charles Oliveira staking his claim that ‘I am one of the best lightweights on the planet.’ He’s proven it time and time again,” he said.
“Charles Oliveira 2.0 was our champion for four fights or so. Finishing Poirier, finishing myself, finishing Gaethje, obviously losing to Makhachev. But this was a statement fight. Dariush was ranked number four. Oliveira, I believe, ranked number 1/2/3 – somewhere in there. And obviously, Islam is the champion. His last loss was to Islam. So he needed to come back, he needed to stake his claim as one of the best fighters on the planet at 155 pounds.
“Charles Oliveira’s a savage, I hope to share the Octagon with him again eventually. I would like to run that one back obviously, but the way he looked that night against Dariush at UFC 289 was absolutely masterful.
“Hats off to you, Charles. God bless. See you at the top!”