Top-ranked UFC lightweight contenders Justin Gaethje and Michael Chandler are favoring Dustin Poirier in his upcoming fight with 155-pound champion Charles Oliveira at UFC 269 on Dec. 11, and “do Bronx” pays no attention to that.
He won’t leave any shot unanswered, though.
Speaking on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca, Oliveira fired back at Chandler’s recent comments from The MMA Hour, where he said “Poirier is a little bit better in every area,” and Gaethje calling him a “quitter.”
“Michael Chandler got here, was signed by the UFC to fight for the belt and had his opportunity,” Oliveira said. “He landed a good hand, had the opportunity to knock me out and win the fight but couldn’t. I went there and knocked him out. Justin Gaethje had the opportunity to fight for the belt against Khabib and you all saw what happened, I don’t need to say what happened. The ugliest fight I’ve ever seen in my life, he died, so I don’t have anything to say. You know when a guy needs to talk to be on the spotlight? To me, that’s what’s going on here. He needs to talk to be on the spotlight.
“On Dec. 11, Charles Oliveira will be fighting Dustin Poirier and if God wants me to win and continue with this belt, these guys have to win, they have to fight. If they fight and win, they can come. Tell them to come try and see if I’ll quit. They don’t understand it’s a new Charles, mentally, physically and spiritually. They may hit hard, but can they take it when I hit them back? I’m the same Charles that doesn’t talk, I lay low, but these guys just want attention. And how do they seek for it? Justin Gaethje hasn’t fought in what, a year? Everybody saw his last fight. It’s been a while. What happens is that if you don’t fight you have to talk, so he has to talk to get attention.”
Granted, Oliveira has been stopped multiple times in the past, but the Chute Boxe fighter has looked incredible since 2018 with nine straight wins and eight stoppages, including knocking out Chandler to become the undisputed UFC champion. The only fight that went the distance had Oliveira dominating and nearly finishing Tony Ferguson.
“Michael Chandler landed a good one and hit me hard for basically three minutes, he did everything he could and I didn’t quit. Why? I’m in a great place mentally, physically and spiritually,” Oliveira said. “When I hit him, he folded. What they are saying doesn’t make much sense.
“Those who think I’m a quitter, tell them to earn it, win their fights and come get it. We’ll see who quits and loses. But come ready, both on the feet and on the ground. That’s what I have to say. There’s no point talking, brother. If talking won fights I’d put a parrot in there to win fights because no one talks more than them. I have a red macaw in my farm and it talks all day long, so it would win everything.
“You must have firepower in your hands, you must have good jiu-jitsu, your wrestling must be on point, and you must be mentally fine in order to win. There’s no point talking. How many of those guys kept talking all day long and when it’s time to enter the cage they choke in those 15 or 25 minutes?”
And to whoever picks former interim titleholder Poirier to walk away from UFC 269 as the lightweight king, Oliveira urges them to put their money where their mouths are.
“Michael Chandler must bet on whoever he wants,” he said. “He thinks Dustin Poirier is better than me? Congratulations. You have your money and you bet on who you want. It doesn’t make any difference to me who you’re betting on or not. Sometimes we have friends next to us who think we’re going to lose, others far away [can think that, too]. It makes no difference to me. Like I said, Charles Oliveira is the name of the champion. I don’t care much about what others say or don’t say.”