Charles Oliveira could be the next UFC champion pursuing double gold.
Fresh off a thrilling third-round submission over Dustin Poirier in his first defense of the lightweight belt at UFC 269, “do Bronx” told MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca he agrees with his coach Diego Lima that chasing more titles is definitely doable.
Lima recently told Trocação Franca that it would be “viable” to return to 145 pounds to challenge Alexander Volkanoski or move up to 170 pounds and face reigning welterweight king Kamaru Usman. Oliveira has one preference, but wouldn’t turn down the other.
“I really thought I couldn’t drop to 145 anymore,” Oliveira said, “but this last weight cut, I was really [close to] 155 before the fight with this work we’ve been doing, with lots of water in the body, and we believe we could easily make 145.”
Oliveira hasn’t competed at featherweight since November 2016, when he missed weight for a clash with Ricardo Lamas. After being forced to go up to 155 pounds, Oliveira won 11 of his next 12 bouts inside the octagon.
“If I had the opportunity to go straight for the 145 belt, I’d move down to fight,” Oliveira said. “Also, if I had the opportunity to go straight for the 170 belt, I’d also move up to fight, but I believe it’s more viable to [drop down] to 145 instead of going to 170 at this moment."
Volkanovski and Usman are both undefeated under the UFC banner. The former has won 10 straight bouts inside the octagon, with his past three being championship contests, while “The Nigerian Nightmare” is approaching Anderson Silva’s all-time record after going 15-0 to start his career in the company, winning the belt and defending it five times already.
“Becoming a two-division champion, a Brazilian man, would be awesome,” Oliveira said.
The UFC has yet to decide Oliveira’s next step in 2022. Justin Gaethje is likely next for the lightweight champion, but “do Bronx” revealed he would also entertain a clash with Conor McGregor instead.