Following Charles Oliveira’s dominant win over Tony Ferguson, his manager has let it be known that they want ‘do Bronx’ to fight for the UFC’s lightweight title, rather than battle Justin Gaethje.

Manager says Oliveira deserves to fight for the belt

Recently UFC President Dana White reported that the promotion is looking at having Oliveira face Gaethje next. 

The comments likely prompted smiles throughout MMA, since there’s a lot to love about that match-up. Both fighters are ridiculously aggressive and dangerous, and both are at the top of the lightweight division.

But, since White made those comments, Oliveira’s manager Diego Lima spoke with MMA Fighting. While talking about his plans for Oliviera, Lima said this.

“I honestly think he deserves to go straight for the belt. He’s coming off eight wins in a row, beat Kevin Lee in great fashion and then dominated Ferguson all around—and Ferguson is one of the best of the division, won 12 straight before losing a title fight—so I think Charles is ready and has enough credibility to fight for the belt.”

“With all due respect, Khabib ran over [Gaethje]. That must count, and a lot,” Lima said.

“I believe Charles’ next fight has to be for the belt against the winner of Poirier and McGregor, not Justin Gaethje.

But we know this fight between Poirier and McGregor involves a lot of things. We know that Poirier winning means one thing, and McGregor winning changes the whole scenario.

I think there’s a lot at stake in this fight.”

And while discussing how a fight between Gaethje and Oliveira might play out, if, ‘do Bronx’ ends up facing the former interim champ, Lima said this.

“Justin is a tough opponent and I think tough opponents make good fights, like we saw in Charles against Kevin Lee and Ferguson,” Lima said.

“Charles is ready to win against anyone in the division. Everybody knows Charles’ ground game already, everybody can see his evolution in the wrestling and on the feet.

Not surprising?

So, given the run Oliveira is on, it’s not surprising that his manager is driving for a title shot. It’s his job to get his client as big of a fight as possible.

Further, from a meritocratic stand-point, Oliveira does have a very, very strong case for a title shot.

But, as Lima also alluded to, business considerations will come into play here. The UFC may insist that Oliveira face Gaethje, as a means to create as big of a title fight as possible later in 2021.

‘Do Bronx’ is well known to hardcore fans, but he’s not one of the biggest names yet in the division. 

It’s also important to remember that Michael Chandler is set to fight Dan Hooker at UFC 257 as well. If the former Bellator champ scores an emphatic win, he very well could be tapped for a title shot.

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