Charles Oliveira is set to defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight title for the first time at UFC 269 on Dec. 11, 2021, against former interim titleholder, Dustin Poirier, inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Oliveira won the title left behind by Khabib Nurmagomedov by stopping Michael Chandler via strikes at UFC 262, giving him his ninth straight win in the process. Speaking of Khabib, the former 155-pound champion recently gave his thoughts on the looming title fight. And while he didn’t downright dismiss Oliveira's chances of holding onto the belt, he explained why he predicts Poirier will come out on top.
“You cannot go to the Charles Oliveira red zone,” Nurmagomedov told ESPN (via MMA Junkie). “This guy is a real finisher. He’s very dangerous, and I think if Dustin Poirier takes him to the deep ocean like he told us, I think he’s going to win. But, if you rush, I think Charles Oliveira is going to have a chance. My opinion: It’s 60-40 (percent) I think, to Dustin Poirier.”
In his further assessment, “The Eagle” believes “The Diamond’s” cardio and sheer determination will ultimately be the reason he finally reaches the top of the 155-pound division.
“Because of his cardio and heart, it’s my opinion. But Charles is a very, very dangerous opponent and he knows right now he’s the real champion and because he has nine-win streak. He beat Tony Ferguson, he finished eight guys and it’s a very interesting fight for me. I think 60-40 Dustin Poirier.”
Nurmagomedov knows firsthand just what Poirier brings to the table after the two shared the cage at UFC 242 back in 2019. Khabib ultimately defeated “The Diamond” via third-round submission, retiring soon thereafter.
Poirier bounced back nicely with three straight wins, including back-to-back technical knockout victories over Conor McGregor. Taking out Oliveira and winning the title will be the culmination of years of hard work for the Louisiana native, who boasts an unrivaled resume thanks to wins over a Murder’s Row of former champions and top contenders.
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