There’s been a lot of talk recently about UFC’s culture of rematches. Belal Muhammad recently came out against it and suggested UFC should be focusing more on the sport aspect of it as opposed to entertainment and not doing so many rematches.
Kamaru Usman has a rematch pending for March 2023. Adesanya is also speculated to be targeting a rematch against Pereira for his comeback (he reportedly has to deal with several medical issues first).
Which begs the question, why was Oliveira ignored after the loss to Islam Makhachev? And the answer might be – he wasn’t.
Diego Lima (Charles Oliveira’s coach) claims that Oliveira declined to face Islam Makhachev again at UFC 283. Despite not being medically suspended, Oliveira passed on the opportunity.
He reportedly had considerable amount of mental stress after his championship defeat to Makhachev at UFC 280 and opted to take a break instead.
At UFC 280 in October, Makhachev outclassed Oliveira to a second-round submission victory. The soon-to-be lightweight champion promptly scheduled a bout with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski for UFC 284. This will take place in Perth, Australia, in February.
Charles Oliveira’s name was strangely overlooked in the discussion, even as some recommended Beneil Dariush as an alternative challenger for the next lightweight championship.
His longtime trainer, Diego Lima asserts that his student was provided with an instant rematch opportunity at UFC 283, in front of his home crowd in Rio do Janeiro.
Lima asserts that he and Charles Oliveira discussed it and agreed that January was too soon for a rematch. The Chute Box coach recently said to Portuguese television station Super Lutas:
“When we were going to face Makhachev. we showed a lot of interest in fighting him in Rio. One week after [UFC 280], the UFC got in touch with us. They gave us the opportunity to fight [Makhachev] in Rio. They have always been really good to us.”
“We have really good talks. It was up to us to accept or not. I talked it over with Charles. He’s not injured, but there’s an emotional stress. It’s way beyond physical. Charles is the only fighter that has faced all the top 5 guys within a year. Champs normally hide, they want to fight once a year. That’s not Charles, but Rio is way too close now. We prefer to give Charles a well-deserved vacation.”