The former UFC lightweight champion on Monday addressed his recent online feud with McGregor, saying he’s not putting up any roadblocks to make an eventual fight happen.
“What’s happening is that I’m here — I’m just waiting for him,” Oliveira said via translator (and UFC octagon girl) Luciana Andrade on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “All he needs to do is tell me the place and the time, and I’ll be there.”
Oliveira called out McGregor after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 274, a fight that would have marked Oliveira’s second title defense were it not for a miss on the scale that cost him the lightweight belt. McGregor eagerly replied to the callout, and that started a back-and-forth that’s continued off and on.
Lately, McGregor has shifted his attention (again) to a fight with Gaethje, who claimed the “BMF” title at UFC 291 by knocking out McGregor’s three-time foe, Dustin Poirier. That left McGregor’s expected next opponent, The Ultimate Fighter 31 rival Michael Chandler, in the lurch.
There are few MMA stars today that McGregor hasn’t attacked verbally, so Oliveira can’t be sure if their recent exchanges guarantee a meeting in the future. All he can say is that he’s ready should the opportunity arrive.
“I don’t know, I’m here — where is Conor?” Oliveira asked.
McGregor’s return is now targeted for early 2024, while Oliveira will rematch Makhachev for the lightweight title at UFC 294 in October. Oliveira admitted to playing hard to get with the UFC to get the fight moved to an event targeted for his native Brazil in November, but the fight was instead booked for Abu Dhabi.
Oliveira expects he will use the lessons learned from his initial submission loss to Makhachev to reclaim the title. If that happens, it’s almost certain he’ll hear from McGregor.
No matter what weight “The Notorious” wants, Oliveira will oblige.
“170, 183 [pounds], doesn’t matter,” Oliveira said. “All he needs to do is stop and do it.”