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Charles Oliveira: Pursuit of Conor McGregor bout in Brazil ‘sole reason’ for fighting Islam Makhachev

UFC 280: Press Conference Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Charles Oliveira has made it very clear that he wants to compete against Conor McGregor.

Before “Do Bronx” can possibly get his hands on “The Notorious,” McGregor will first need to be cleared to return after suffering a nasty broken leg in his last time out against Dustin Poirier in July 2021 (watch highlights). As for Oliveira, the most recent Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion has to get through Islam Makhachev in UFC 280’s main event on Oct. 22, 2022.

Oliveira had hoped to get McGregor for his upcoming appearance, but has instead settled for the streaking top contender from Dagestan. With a win, the all-time UFC submission leader believes he could get his wish in his home country of Brazil.

“I like the narrative,” Oliveira told ESPN. “It would be perfect. We’ve been asking for this fight in Brazil so hopefully, it works out. I really do [think it will happen next year]. That’s the sole reason why I accepted this fight [with Makhachev]. I know the more victories, the better the chances so this is a step towards that fight.”

From a merit standpoint, the more victories for Oliveira actually make a McGregor match up less logical. The Irishman’s eventual return will see him aiming to rebound off a two-fight skid, having most recently won at 155 pounds when gaining the title at UFC 205 against Eddie Alvarez in Nov. 2016.

On the other hand, an Oliveira win over Makhachev would extend his win streak to a whopping dozen. UFC’s Brazil return is being discussed for Jan. 2023, a timetable that Oliveira finds manageable.

“Yes, I’d like to leave the Octagon already knowing who I’d be fighting next,” Oliveira said. “I’d advise him to take very good care of what words he uses [in Brazil], especially when referring to me.”

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