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Charles Oliveira Willing to Serve as McGregor-Chandler Backup; Plans Summer Return


Charles Oliveira wants to make it clear that he would only move to welterweight for one specific fight.

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight king Oliveira spoke to Sherdog ahead of UFC 301. The event in Rio de Janeiro, he is not competing, but he is supporting his countrymen and women as well as cornering teammate Elves Brener. “Do Bronx” is coming off a decision loss to Arman Tsarukyan at UFC 300 that served as a title eliminator match, and he says he is ready to put the past behind him.

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“I expected more from myself inside the cage,” Oliveira stated about his UFC 300 defeat. “I think I got the best moments in all three rounds. Actually, I think I won [the first] and [third], but that fight’s already gone. I’m not here to cause any [drama].”

Instead of dwelling on the past, Oliveira wants to learn from his mistakes and look to the future.

“Fourteen years are not fourteen days,” Oliviera pontificated. “Don't get me wrong, I don’t want to look back. My focus is ahead of me.”

The former lightweight champion recently made headlines with reports that he planned on moving up to 170 pounds. Oliveira refuted those claims, while specifying that there would be just one reason for him to move to welterweight: Conor McGregor.

“Some reporter asked if I would be interested in being a reserve for Conor vs. [Michael] Chandler, which will be [at] welterweight. Once I said yes, some people started to say I planned to leave lightweight, which is absolutely not true. My focus is 100% on the belt of my division. I said I would accept to face Conor because it would be interesting [for] my career, so in that specific case I would fight [at] 77kg.”

If the backup option for UFC 303 at the end of June does not materialize, “Do Bronx” would not like to wait much longer before getting back into action.

“I’m already back to [my] training routine,” Oliveira concluded. “At most in July or August, I want to be fighting [again].”
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