Charles Oliveira picked up his eighth straight win at UFC 256 a few weeks ago, dominating former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim Lightweight champion, Tony Ferguson, for 15 minutes. But, it seems “Do Bronx” will have to do a little bit more work before he can punch his ticket to the big dance.
That’s according to UFC President, Dana White, who says Oliveira will likely face another former interim champion in the form of Justin Gaethje.
“If everything works out, it will probably be Justin Gaethje,” White revealed during a recent Q&A with Laura Sanko. White also mentioned that Oliveira was offered the fight against Michael Chandler at UFC 257, but “Do Bronx” eventually turned it down since it was too quick of a turnaround.
Gaethje is coming off a loss to current UFC Lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, which went down at UFC 254 in Oct. 2020, snapping a four-fight win streak.
According to White, there are still several moving pieces that will determine what happens at 155 pounds, especially when it comes to Khabib, who is currently retired from the sport. Of course, White is planning to meet with “The Eagle” in a couple of weeks on “Fight Island” to convince him to return to action.
With those plans in motion, that means that the winner of the upcoming 155-pound bout between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier — which is set to headline UFC 257 on Jan. 23, 2021 — will get the next shot at the division strap. And if Khabib decides to stay retired, then it means the winner of Gaethje vs. Oliveira will likely get the other slot in the championship fight.