Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira did not want to fight top contender Islam Makhachev for the 155-pound strap, so “Do Bronx” instead asked for alternate fights against Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz and when that didn’t work, he tried to negotiate a bigger paycheck.
That’s according to a conversation Makhachev had on the “DC & RC” show.
“For me, this is embarrassing when UFC lightweight champion asks (for) someone like Nate Diaz or Conor McGregor,” Makhachev said (transcribed by Farah Hannoun). “Conor McGregor, who won five years ago – nobody remembers when these guys win some fights. He tried to go Diaz or McGregor, but he forgot my name. And when they asked about me, he said he needs money or something like this, but when he fought Dustin (Poirier) or Justin Gaethje, he didn’t think about money. He said, ‘Islam has to fight one more time,’ or something like this. But the UFC told him, ‘Hey, if you (don’t) take this fight, we’re going to give some chance to Michael Chandler.’ That’s why he take this fight.”
Chandler fell to Oliveira by way of knockout back in May 2021.
Regardless of how the fight came together, Oliveira and Makhachev will collide for the vacant lightweight strap — stripped in the wake of this debacle — atop the UFC 280 pay-per-view (PPV) event, recently made official for Sat., Oct. 22, 2022 inside Etihad Arena on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
To see who else is fighting at UFC 280 click here.