Chael Sonnen thinks that the UFC brass and Charles Oliveira shook hands on a backstage deal following the Brazilian's win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. Oliveira was stripped of the lightweight title after failing to make weight ahead of his main event clash with Gaethje.
There was controversy surrounding the weigh-ins after several fighters, including 'do Bronx' himself, claimed that the official weighing scale was malfunctioning. Oliveira apparently made 155lbs a night before the weigh-ins took place but appeared to be 0.5lbs over the limit during the official weigh-ins.
Sonnen thinks that the promotion has agreed to treat Oliveira as the champion following his win over Gaethje, even though the title is vacant. This means that his contract will feature perks provided to UFC title holders. He wonders whether that's why Oliveira has proclaimed himself as the reigning champion despite being stripped of the title.
'The American Gangster' feels it could also be that Oliveira isn't aware of the terms of his current contract and that he won't be entitled to pay-per-view points for his next fight. In a recently shared video on his YouTube channel, Sonnen said:
"I think that a deal was reached in the back and there was a handshake done that Charles will be treated as a champion... That's extremely relevant for a couple of reasons - first off, if he is, why? Do we have a contract? Why would you possibly have a penalty and a punishment if the guy with the infraction is not going to be disciplined? The way Charles is behaving would make you think that [a] deal has been reached or he doesn't know his own contract and he doesn't know that participation in his next fight is no longer activated..."
Watch the video below:
Charles Oliveira weighs in on potential clash with Islam Makhachev
Several fans and analysts believe that Islam Makhachev is the toughest challenge in the lightweight division for Charles Oliveira right now. Like the Brazilian, Makhachev is on an impressive winning streak and has looked dominant in his last few fights.
The former champion, however, doesn't think Makhachev can get the better of him in a potential scrap. Both Oliveira and Makhachev are known for their grappling prowess, but 'do Bronx' believes he's the superior grappler between the pair.
During an interview with ESPN MMA, Oliveira stated:
"Is Islam a very tough guy? Yep. Did he fight big names? No. He's on a big streak, but who did he fight? I don’t care about his fighting style. What he does best, I do 10 times more. If he thinks that putting down everyone [on the ground] he [fought] is the same thing as [fighting] Charles Oliveira, he is completely wrong."
Makahchev is regarded as the ideal dance partner for the lightweight title clash against Charles Oliveira. However, the Brazilian seems more interested in a money fight against former two-division UFC champion Conor McGregor.