Charles Oliveira hasn’t received much respect from his fellow 155-pound peers since winning UFC’s Lightweight title at UFC 262 in May 2021.
Asked repeatedly over the past month who he expected to win at UFC 269 between Oliveira and Dustin Poirier, former champ Khabib Nurmagomedov pointed to Poirier, going so far as to label himself “Team Diamond.” Over in the on-deck circle, Justin Gaethje also picked Dustin and labeled Charles a “quitter.”
But, all that changed after Oliveira survived some adversity in the first round to dominate Poirier in the second and finish him off in the third (watch highlights here). Khabib sent out this message:
My congratulations Champ, you deserve this— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) December 12, 2021
And Gaethje? During a backstage encounter with Oliveira fresh out of the cage, “Highlight” had nothing but kind things to say about the champ.
“That was f—king awesome man,” Gaethje told Oliveira. “That was absolutely beautiful. Nothing but respect, honestly. You deserve it.”
Following his win over Dustin Poirier last night, @CharlesDoBronxs was greeted by @Justin_Gaethje backstage who wanted to show his respect and congratulate the champ! #UFC269 pic.twitter.com/mCEiB4XDKH— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) December 12, 2021
Gaethje expanded on his feelings during UFC’s post-fight show.
“I will give no disrespect to Charles,” he said. “He is now the undisputed champion and I cannot wait to fight him. I don’t care where or when ... I saw a competitor tonight. I saw a dog and I can’t wait to break his face. He gets hit a lot. He better pray and hope for the next however many days until our fight that he takes me down, gets his choke. Because if not, we see what happens.”
For his part, Oliveira seems completely uninterested in anyone’s opinion.
“I don’t care what people think, I don’t care what they say,” he said at the UFC 269 post-fight press conference. “Look at what they’ve been saying about me. They say I can’t take hits. Look at what I’ve been doing. They say I quit. Look what I’ve been doing. So I’m just gonna continue to do what I do.”
“Listen, I don’t care,” Oliveira continued. “I come here and I do it. I’m not on the Internet, I’m not on Twitter, I’m not on Facebook trying to show people what’s going on. I’m here, I’m the champion, I have this belt, I’m gonna keep defending it, I don’t care what people say. I’m gonna do me.”
It’s a good thing Oliveira doesn’t care because this won’t be the end of the trash talk directed his way. It’s even coming from people he defeated, like Michael Chandler. “Iron Mike” is already fantasizing of a world where Gaethje beats Oliveira, he beats Oliveira, and then he beats Gaethje.
The way I see it...the whole world wants to see me rematch 2 out of the 3 fights I’ve had in the @UFC ... that’s how you come in and make a statement. I’d never QUIT. Congrats to Oliveira ...punch your ticket with Gaethje this summer and I’ll see you at the end of 2022 #UFC269— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) December 12, 2021
Gaethje breaks Charlie Olives... CHANGE MY MIND. #ufc269— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) December 12, 2021
Ok, imagine, it’s June 2022. I lost to the former champion after beating him 10-8 in round one, ROTY candidate. And the new champion the whole world wants to see me run back my FOTY with. Less than 1.5 years after making my #ufc debut. Ooooh...it’s good to be me. #ufc269— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) December 12, 2021
I just didn’t feel it. Yeah, I lost, I get it, but tell me you can’t see a difference between the so-called “elite” and the ones who are built different. Ive been there there to inflict immense bodily harm on somebody since the jump. Others are there to “play mma.” #UFC269— Michael Chandler (@MikeChandlerMMA) December 12, 2021
Hey, we can’t even get mad about it. We’re down to watch this gang of Lightweight killers fight each other over and over again endlessly. But, a lesson to learn from UFC 269? You better put some respect on Charles Oliveira’s name ... unless you enjoy looking foolish.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC 269: “Oliveira vs. Poirier” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.