Charles Oliveira sees himself as the lightweight champion heading into UFC 280.
‘Do Bronx’ is set to face Islam Makhachev in October. The bout is set to crown the UFC’s lightweight champion, as Oliveira lost the title in May. However, he didn’t lose the belt during a fight, but on the scale.
Prior to his fight with Justin Gaethje at UFC 274, the Brazilian missed weight. As a result, Oliveira was stripped of his lightweight title. However, he would go on to defeat ‘The Highlight’ by first-round submission. With the victory, he secured a future title shot.
Instead of a title shot, Charles Oliveira views his fight with Islam Makhachev as a title defense. In an interview with Sports Illustrated, the 32-year-old discussed his UFC 280 headliner. There, he discussed his perspective heading into the lightweight contest.
The Brazilian doesn’t view himself as a title challenger but as the champion. Oliveira revealed that he felt robbed on the scales during his previous fight. As for the contest itself, the former champion isn’t worried about his fight with Makhachev.
“The belt is already mine. To me, this is another title defense… I made weight, I’m sure I made weight. I feel like I was robbed. It was really hard – I heard my dad crying, my daughter was questioning why I lost the belt. It was very upsetting, it went against all the dedication I put into this. But the most important part was that I showed my championship mentality. Even after all that happened, I pulled through and still put on a show for everyone.” (h/t Sports Illustrated)
Charles Oliveira continued, “I’m going to where he wants the fight. It’s where he thinks he’ll beat me. I can beat him on the ground. Maybe people think I’m the underdog, but I am better. I’ve had tougher fights and bigger wins.”