Charles Oliveira may not be fighting Beneil Dariush on October 3, but that doesn’t mean that Oliveira doesn’t have his eyes on a potential future opponent in former UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson.
Not only does Oliveira want to fight Ferguson, but he expects the potential bout to be a war.
“I am asking too much for an opportunity to fight a guy like that, who is in front of me. I think I could get into this fight (against Tony Ferguson), because this is the chance that I want for a long time. It would certainly come,” said Oliveira to AG Fight (translation provided by Google Translate). “He's a guy who said he wanted to fight with me, I also said I would face him. Maybe he won't be back until November, so it would be a great honor to fight him. It would be a great war to show how much I am evolving. No matter which top 5 comes, I will win. If it's Hooker in November, fine. Tony Ferguson now, it looks great too. I'll be ready. I just need an opportunity. I'm not asking for anything too much. It is my right. I deserve it.”
Ferguson was reportedly set to fight former UFC interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier at UFC 254, but the bout couldn’t come together after the UFC and Poirier couldn’t agree on the financial side of things.
Former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler was named as the backup fighter for the UFC 254 main event, which is a situation that doesn’t sit well with Oliveira.
"I do not know what happens. I don't even want to think about it or it gives me depression. There are a lot of people who come from victories, but which one only knocks or submits? I don't leave it to the judges and I deserve this chance, but they don't give it to me. I think it's fear, respect. Do not know. Everyone in the UFC wants the belt. So there is no use hiding, an hour will happen. We will crash. I'm going to be a UFC champion, they want to not. I need to fight a guy in front of me for this," he said.
Outside of Justin Gaethje, every fighter ranked ahead of Oliveira doesn’t have a fight booked at the moment, including the man called out by Oliveira, Tony Ferguson.