Charles Oliveira picked up a huge win at UFC 289 on Saturday with a stoppage win over Beneil Dariush. The former champion then called for his shot at the title, and even did so in the “little” bits of English that he so far knows.
“I’m sorry, my English is little,” Oliveira said, much to the delight of the Vancouver crowd. “Thanks so much. I’ve been supported.
“The champion has a name, and it’s Charles Oliveira.”
It was a strong callout, with Oliveira adding that he was happy to take on Makhachev on what’s effectively the Dagestani’s home turf in Abu Dhabi. As obvious as the booking seems, UFC president Dana White, has not yet finalized the rematch between ‘Do Bronx’ and the current title holder Islam Makhachev.
Dana White says Oliveira vs. Makhachev 2 ‘makes sense’
Ahead of UFC 289, White was asked if the co-headliner would be a title eliminator fight. The UFC boss gave his usual response: ‘we’ll see what happens.’
During the post-fight scrum, White gave a similar answer, but also expressed excitement about a potential rematch. As he told reporters, everything should be finalized by Tuesday, when he meets with matchmakers.
“I’m excited for him and Islam to fight again. It’s the thing that makes sense. I’ll tell you on Tuesday.
“Let’s not play games, that fight makes sense, that’s the fight that should happen. And I’m excited to see it again.”
UFC lightweight champ wants a new challenge
Reigning lightweight champion Islam Makhachev did an interview with AKA teammate and UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier a day before fight night. He picked Dariush to win because according to him, he wants a fresh challenge.
“I hope he can beat Charles Oliveira because I want next Beneil,” Makhachev told Cormier. “Because I fight already with Oliveira. Again, fight with him is nothing. I want some new challenge, new opponent. That’s why I want to fight with Beneil.”
White says he is taking Makhachev’s situation into consideration, but for him, a rematch with Oliveira only makes sense.
“There are a lot of things that go into consideration for the next fight. I’m sitting here talking to you about (Makhachev) right now, I don’t know where he’s at, I don’t know what he’s got planned over the summer. The list goes on and on of things that factor into how fights are made.
“But I’m just telling you right here, right now, it’s a fight I’d like to see again.”
UFC fans in Vancouver rally behind Oliveira
Another noteworthy moment for the night was the warm welcome and support that Vancouver fans gave the former Brazilian champion. Oliveira himself was left overwhelmed.
“For me to actually be here and have a standing ovation… everybody was just standing and applauding me and cheering. It was just an amazing feeling,” Oliveira said through his translator during the post-fight scrum.
“It felt like I was in the community. It felt I was actually back at home. As a Brazilian, it felt like I was not miles and miles away from home.”
White, for his part, understands where the massive support is coming from.
“If you look at what the guy has done since 2016, he’s completely turned his career around. He’s one of the nicest human beings in the world, he’s fun to watch fight, he finishes. He’ll stand and bang with you or he’ll go to the ground and try to submit you.
“He’s just a fun guy to watch, and he’s a great person. Why not like him?”
With the win over Dariush, Oliveira set a new UFC record of most number of finishes with a total of 20. He also bagged an extra $50K for Performance of the Night.
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