Oliveira (32-8) is one of the hottest fighters in the UFC. He is currently on a 10-fight win streak — nine of those being finishes. The Brazilan won and defended the lightweight title in 2021, and he currently sits at four in our men’s UFC pound-for-pound rankings. It seems there is little he can’t do at this point.
That’s why it should come as no surprise that the idea of cross-division dream fights against featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski or welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has been discussed in recent interviews. Winning titles in two divisions has become a trend in MMA over the last few years, with four fighters in the UFC achieving the rare feat since 2016. And Oliveira would be an intriguing choice to be the next man to attempt champ-champ status.
Charles Oliveira down for a champ-champ opportunity against Alexander Volkanovski or Kamaru Usman
In a recent chat with MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca, “Do Bronx” was asked about the possibility of competing for belts in other divisions, and the former featherweight said he would very much be up for the challenge. Especially if it’s in the 145-pound division.
“I really thought I couldn’t drop to 145 anymore, 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 said.
“If I had the opportunity to go straight for the 145 [pound] belt, I’d move down to fight. Also, if I had the opportunity to go straight for the 170 [pound] 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,” he added. Becoming a two-division champion, a Brazilian man, would be awesome.”
After a 2-2-1 start to his career as a lightweight, Oliveira switched weight classes and competed as a featherweight for his next 12 fights in the Octagon. Winning seven of those bouts and earning a main event opportunity against eventual division king Max Holloway in the Summer of 2015. However, losses to the elites of the weight class, and difficult weight cuts, led him to return to lightweight as he closed in on turning 30.
As a 155-pound fighter the second time around, he has won 11 of 12 and scored finishes in all but one of his victories in that time. His most recent victory was a UFC 269 submission win over Dustin Poirier in the night’s championship headliner.
If Oliveira did attempt champ-champ status, which titlist would you rather watch him compete against? Usman or Volkanovski?