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Charles Oliveira Hints at UFC Return: ‘I’ll Have My Rematch’

UFC star Charles Oliveira is planning to return to the octagon and laid out his plans for reclaiming the gold.

Former lightweight champion Oliveira has been out of action since taking on Islam Makhachev in the headlining bout of UFC 280 last October. He went into the bout as the uncrowned champion who lost his title on the scales in the previous clash with Justin Gaethje.

Makhachev started off strong and handily dispatched the greatest finisher in the history of the promotion with an arm triangle choke in the second round. He snapped the 33-year-old Brazilian’s 11-fight winning run and extended his own streak to 11 versus his first top-five ranked opponent.

Following the defeat, ‘do Bronx’s camp hinted at plans to keep on the sidelines for some time as they wanted to give Oliveira a chance to take some time off from the stress of the fight game.

Oliveira Wants To Return in May

During a fan Q&A session at the UFC 283 ceremonial weigh-ins presser, Oliveira shared his thoughts on the targeted timeline for his return to action.

“We have to aim high,” Oliveira said (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “Maybe fight in the United States in May and then come back to fighting in Brazil by the end of the year — if it’s in Sao Paulo, even better —, and who knows, maybe fight for the belt again. That would be great.”

Top-ranked lightweight contender Beneil Dariush has been linked to an outing with Oliveira. Dariush is coming off an impressive victory over surging prospect Mateusz Gamrot in his last showing. He found himself in the mix of title contention after racking up an eight-fight win streak with wins over notable opponents, including fan favorite Tony Ferguson, Drew Dober, and Thiago Moises.

“Conor McGregor is not fighting, so I think we need to focus on the top of the division,” Oliveira said via MMA Junkie. “After seeing the cries with the belts got me some energy to be back. So my focus is to fight in April, and then fight for a title at the end of the year.

“Everybody is talking about Dariush, but I think I need to think with my mind, not really my heart. If the UFC thinks he’s the name, it’s fine. But let’s see what I decide.”

Oliveira Believes a Rematch With Makhachev Is on the Horizon

‘Do Bronx’ recounted his loss to Makhachev, justifying it as a bad night. Although he would not want things to go differently, he believes a victory in his next outing will get him the rematch with Makhachev.

“With all due respect, I had 10 minutes off on a bad night,” Oliveira said. “I wouldn’t change anything to fight Islam Makhachev. This fight will happen again. Be sure of that, this fight will happen. I’ll fight in April or May, no matter who that is, and God will bless me with a win, and I’ll have my rematch with Islam Makhachev by the end of the year.”

As for Makhachev, he is scheduled to face reigning UFC featherweight champion and pound-for-pound king Alexander Volkanovski on Feb. 12 at UFC 284.

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