Charles Oliveira has reportedly turned down a short-notice fight with Michael Chandler at UFC 258 in favor of waiting for a lightweight title shot.
AG Fight reported initially that "Do Bronx" rejected the bout as he wants a title shot next. He is apparently open to fighting Chandler but only if the UFC has the title on the line for the fight. It remains to be seen if the UFC will offer the title or potentially move on to different fighters to fill the co-main event spot for UFC 258. The spot is vacant after Chris Weiman tested positive for COVID-19 and had to withdraw from his fight with TUF 16 runner-up Uriah Hall.
After the initial report, Sherdog obtained the following quote from his coach Diego Lima.
"Charles had never been so close to the belt and it's important to note that he worked hard for that. He is on an eight-fight winning streak, with seven coming via submission or KO. The fans and even Poirier recognized that. Today is Feb. 1. It makes no sense for us to accept a title eliminator for 11 days from now. Charles needs time to lose weight, we lose about two days with visa stuff and of course we need to prepare for the fight itself," admitted Lima. "Our goal was fight for the belt against Poirier, but if Poirier will not fight for the belt and the UFC wants to make the Chandler fight for the belt, no problem. But all champions have two or three months to make a camp to get ready. We already did crazy stuff like accept Clay Guida in 10 days and Tony Ferguson in 20, but I think that for all Charles has done, he deserves to have a full camp to fight for that title.”