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Morning Report: Charles Oliveira understands if Dustin Poirier chooses Nate Diaz fight over title shot: ‘A fight against Nate will make a lot of money’

UFC 262: Charles Oliveira v Michael Chandler
Charles Oliveira
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Dustin Poirier has had an interesting 2021. In January, Poirier got his revenge on Conor McGregor, knocking McGregor out in a performance that earned him a shot at the vacant lightweight title. Instead though, Poirier opted to forego a title shot in favor of a lucrative trilogy fight with McGregor. Poirier then won that fight as well, finally setting him up for a bout with current champion Charles Oliveira. Except, perhaps not.

Earlier this month, Poirier and Nate Diaz appeared to be courting one another for a fight and earlier this week, Poirier said that though he anticipates fighting for the title next, he’s not committed to anything and if it makes sense, he is still definitely interested in facing Diaz. And though it may seem odd, the current champion understands where Poirier is coming from.

“Today nobody wants to know about a belt, they don’t want to know about a belt,” Oliveira told Ag. Fight (translation via “They want to know about ‘money’, about money in your pocket. The fight against Conor made a lot of money for Dustin Poirier, a fight against Nate will make a lot of money too. We are human beings. It depends a lot on each person. I would rather fight for the belt than for the money. I had a focus. I wanted to be UFC champion. Today I’m UFC champion, I want to make money, I want to have money in my pocket.”

The sad reality of the UFC is that titles do not guarantee enormous paydays as the biggest purses are driven largely by pay-per-view revenue sharing and even dominant champions may not sell a huge number of PPVs if they aren’t fan favorites. It’s why Poirier opted to pass on a title shot the first time around and why even UFC President Dana White said Poirier was smart to do so. It’s also why Oliveira can’t be mad at Poirier even though Poirier passing on another lightweight title shot would deny the champ of possibly the biggest payday available to him right now.

“So it depends a lot,” Oliveira said. “If Dustin agrees to fight Diaz, is he wrong? No, it’s not wrong. He is right. You have to see what’s good for him. Everyone has to choose what is right for them. They considered my fight against Diaz and I said that if it was for the belt, I would fight. Before I fight for the belt. I had a focus, which was to fight for the belt. A lot of people said to me: ‘This fight will make you a lot of money’. And I said: ‘Okay, but money is not the focus now, I want to be UFC champion’. Today I’m UFC champion, now I want to make money. Everyone has a way to choose. Today I am the champion. I’m not worried about who will be or who will not be, who has to chase who will fight for the title, it’s them, it’s not me.”

Oliveira won a vacant UFC lightweight title by knocking out Michael Chandler at UFC 262 in May. It’s anticipated that he will defend his title later this year.


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Return. Nate Diaz targeting UFC return in December, ‘several high-profile’ options for opponents.

Tetralogy. Dustin Poirier not waiting for fourth Conor McGregor fight: ‘If it makes sense ... we’ll do it again.’

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Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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