Charles Oliveira says the UFC's best lightweights are avoiding him at all costs.
The Brazilian is ranked no. 6 in the UFC lightweight division and Oliveira believes he cannot break into the top five of the division because those fighters “are in their little club.”
“Here’s the thing: those top five are in their little club, they only fight each other,” Oliveira said to Combate. “That way, they’ll surely stay in the top 5. They give you no chance. One of them is injured, another can’t fight, another one won’t fight. How can that be? That’s unreal. You have to fight. If you don’t want to fight, get out of the way. If you’re injured, I get you. If you’re having family problems, I get you. If you just fought, I get you. But Dustin Poirier fought a few months ago and now is saying he only wants to fight next year so he can keep on loving the sport. I don’t get that. Dan Hooker fought Dustin Poirier and lost. Where is he? He never fought again. The same goes for Tony Ferguson. I get Justin Gaethje, he waited to fight Khabib for the belt in October. Conor McGregor, is he coming back or not? So they’re all in their little club and don’t fight anybody.”
Three of the five fighters in the top five are booked in fights at the moment (Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, Tony Ferguson), while two others (Conor McGregor, Dan Hooker) are not currently booked. Oliveira also says the top five have been offered fights again him and all of them have turned down the opportunity.
“They offer me a bunch of names and none of them want to fight me,” he said. “Some guys show up on media calling me out, saying a bunch of stuff, but when things get real, they run way. That’s the truth. There are guys who were called to fight me, did not accept and now have another fight booked. Those things make no sense. I won’t name names. Here’s the thing: everyone is chasing the same goal, to win the belt. Sooner or later we’ll have to fight. If they’re afraid to fight me now, they’ll be even more scared later on. Every day that passes, I feel better, stronger, more ready. The UFC sent me some names that were above me and asked me if I would fight them. I accepted on the spot. But when it was time for the other fighters to answer, they didn’t accept. So there’s not much I can do other than wait.”
UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Aldana is set for Saturday, October 3 from a location to be announced with Holly Holm and Irene Aldana headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, while broadcast plans have yet to be revealed.