With eyes firmly fixed on a vacant UFC lightweight title matchup, preferably against number-one contender, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier, surging grappling force, Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira has reportedly rejected a short-notice tie against recent debutante, ‘Iron’ Michael Chandler.
Per a report from both Ag Fight and Damon Martin and Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting tonight, the promotion attempted to book a lightweight matchup of Oliveira and former three-time Bellator lightweight, Chandler at UFC 258 in just twelve day’s time on February 13th. — following the fallout of an originally scheduled rematch of former middleweight champion, Chris Weidman and Uriah Hall as an initially penned co-main event.
Turning down the offer to match with promotional newcomer, Chandler on short-notice, the #3 ranked Oliveira along with his team have long noted their intentions to compete for Octagon gold in their next UFC walk, having won a staggering eight on the trot.
Headlining UFC Fight Night Brasilia in March, Oliveira returned to his native Brazil — in a high-stakes clash against former interim title challenger, Kevin ‘The Mo’Town Phenom’ Lee, stopping the Detriot native with a taut third-round guillotine.
Drafting into a slot against former interim titleholder, Tony Ferguson at UFC 256 in December, the Sao Paulo grappling ace took a unanimous decision win over the Californian — completely outclassing the veteran in both the striking and grappling exchanges.
For Chandler, the Sanford MMA and Henri Hooft product finally made his Octagon bow at UFC 257 last weekend, stopping Kiwi kickboxing talent, Dan Hooker via an opening-round left hook and ground strikes barrage. The victory saw him assume the #4 rank at 155-pounds, one slot below Oliveira.