Daniel Cormier has asserted that he can’t understand UFC lightweight contender Charles Oliveira’s behavior. Cormier is of the opinion that Oliveira made a mistake by refusing to accept Nate Diaz's challenge.
MMA icon and UFC legend Nate Diaz has confirmed that he’ll be returning to the Octagon this year (2021). UFC president Dana White recently claimed that Diaz would be returning to the lightweight division. However, Diaz revealed that he has no intentions of fighting at lightweight again.
That said, Nate Diaz proceeded to challenge high-ranking UFC lightweights Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira to fight him at welterweight. While Poirier briefly expressed interest in the fight – despite rumors of him facing Conor McGregor at lightweight next – Oliveira downright refused to face Diaz.
On an edition of DC & Helwani, Daniel Cormier and Ariel Helwani addressed Charles Oliveira’s current standing in the UFC. In response to Ariel Helwani suggesting that Charles Oliveira missed out on a huge opportunity by turning down the Nate Diaz fight, Daniel Cormier stated:
“Oh, my goodness. What is going on with these guys? What is going on with these guys! What’s (Charles Oliveira) holding out for? Nathan Diaz is the fight! So, wait, let me ask you this... So, (Oliveira) ain’t getting (Justin) Gaethje or (Michael) Chandler, right? But he ain’t getting (Dustin) Poirier or (Conor) McGregor. But then I saw somebody say Poirier-McGregor won’t be for the (UFC lightweight) belt. So, where’s the belt?" (*H/T Sportskeeda for the transcription)
Furthermore, Daniel Cormier explained that with the top four fighters in the UFC lightweight division busy battling one another, Charles Oliveira just might end up fighting for the lightweight title next. Cormier insinuated that if current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov vacates the title or is stripped of it, Charles Oliveira could fight someone else.
DC noted that two high-ranking fighters in the UFC lightweight division, who are presently riding win streaks, could face each other for the vacant UFC lightweight title.
Daniel Cormier pointed out that if Islam Makhachev – a lightweight who’s on a win streak – wins his next fight against Drew Dober, a bout between Makhachev and Charles Oliveira for the vacant UFC lightweight title would make sense.
However, Ariel Helwani then jested that Daniel Cormier was being biased by recommending his AKA (American Kickboxing Academy) teammate Islam Makhachev for a UFC lightweight title shot.
Cormier and Helwani shared a lighthearted moment discussing this, while reiterating that there is an air of uncertainty surrounding the UFC lightweight title picture.
Is Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev on the horizon?
Charles Oliveira’s most recent fight was a unanimous decision win over Tony Ferguson at UFC 256 in December 2020. On the other hand, Islam Makhachev’s most recent fight was a unanimous decision win over Davi Ramos at UFC 242 in September 2019.
Presently, Charles Oliveira is on an eight-fight win streak, whereas Islam Makhachev is on a six-fight winning run. Regardless, the consensus in the MMA community is that the No. 14-ranked Makhachev is unlikely to be booked against the No. 3-ranked Oliveira anytime soon.