CHARLES OLIVEIRA is hoping to be front row at UFC 257 and ‘waiting’ to call out the winner between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.
McGregor, who beat Poirier in 2014 at featherweight, will rematch the American in a lightweight headliner on Fight Island.
Charles Oliveira is hoping to be cageside at UFC 257 Credit: Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.
UFC president Dana White revealed the victor on January 23 is likely to fight for the lightweight belt next.
As a result, Oliveira – who has won eight on the bounce – will try and muscle his way to the front of the queue by making some noise cageside.
He told AG Fight: “There will be a fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor, and I just have to sit in the front row, waiting for which of the two will come to fight me.
“My manager is negotiating this (going to Abu Dhabi).
“But I also have my foot on the ground, I know that we are in a pandemic, that it is difficult for things to happen.
“So, I understand if they can’t take me. I really wanted to be there in the first row, watching because this fight speaks volumes.”
McGregor, 32, and Poirier, 31, prepare to fight with the lightweight division up in the air.
Khabib Nurmagomedov still holds the title, despite announcing his shock retirement in October after beating Justin Gaethje.
Conor McGregor makes his UFC return on Fight Island Credit: Instagram @thenotoriousmma
Dustin Poirier rematches Conor McGregor in a lightweight headliner
Nurmagomedov, 32, hung up his gloves just one fight after the loss of his influential father Abdulmanap, who passed away aged 57 in July.
But beforehand, Khabib had confirmed it was always their plan to retire unbeaten in 30 fights.
And with the Russian one win away from doing so, White will try and talk Khabib back for one more.
But, if he decides against returning, his title would likely be vacated.
Oliveira, 31, is slated to face Gaethje, also 31, next in a similar title eliminator as McGregor and Poirier.
But the Brazilian’s manager Diego Lima wants to see his man head straight for the belt – believing his run of wins are deserving of the next shot.
Lima said to MMAFighting: “With all due respect, Khabib ran over [Gaethje]. That must count, and a lot.
“I believe Charles’ next fight has to be for the belt against the winner of Poirier and McGregor, not Justin Gaethje.
“But we know this fight between Poirier and McGregor involves a lot of things.
“We know that Poirier winning means one thing, and McGregor winning changes the whole scenario. I think there’s a lot at stake in this fight.”