Charles Oliveira open to May title defense against Conor McGregor: ‘I’m waiting for him in May’

Charles Oliveira
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari – Zuffa LLC

Reigning UFC lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira continues to flirt with an immediate title defense against former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor next year, despite a showdown against the #1 ranked former interim titleholder, Justin Gaethje, looming large.

Oliveira, who secured his first successful defense of the lightweight crown earlier this month, stopping common-opponent, another former interim gold holder, Dustin Poirier with an eventual third round standing rear-naked choke at UFC 269.

Immediately, the Sao Paulo native was linked to a title defense against the above mentioend, Gaethje next, with the Arizona native knocking back Michael Chandler with a unanimous decision victory last month at UFC 268 in New York. 

However, despite Gaethje’s manager, Dominance MMA leader, Ali Abdelaziz suggesting the pair could square off at a pay-per-view event in April, the aforenoted, McGregor threw his name into the proverbial hat to clash with the Brazilian next – questioning what date he should prepare for to fight him.

Similarly, however, Oliveira also failed to hide his interest in sharing the Octagon with the Dubliner next, claiming only a foolish individual would reject the prospect of fighting McGregor, due to the usual significant payday that comes with a buildup, and subsequent fight with the 33-year-old.

Reports emerged last week detailing how the promotion are tentatively targeting a May 7. return to the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – potentially for a UFC 274 pay-per-view event in a first return to South America since March of last year. And it would appear Oliveira has at least one eye on competing in May, claiming he would wait for that date with McGregor until then. 

May would be a wonderful date,” Charles Oliveira told Sherdog regarding a potential fight with McGregor. “Conor (McGregor) challenged me, asking (for) a date, and tweeted, Ireland vs. Brazil 2. Not only him, but also myself and all the world wants to see that fight. So let’s make it happen. I’m waiting for him in May.

It may be in (at) welterweight, lightweight, or middleweight, with my title on the line, or not,” Charles Oliveira explained. “Just choose and I’ll be ready.

Furthermore, McGregor himself detailed recently how he expects to return to full mixed martial arts sparring in April of next year, after he fractured his left tibia in a July rubber match with Poirier.

The Dubliner head coach, John Kavanagh also recently confirmed that he expects his longtime student to make an Octagon comeback during the early stages of next summer, as did promotional president, Dana White.

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