Charles Oliveira confident he would knock both Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier out

·2 min read

After capturing the UFC lightweight title with a knockout victory, Charles Oliveira has no doubt he can stand with anyone in the division.

Oliveira (31-8 MMA, 19-8 UFC) may be known as a jiu-jitsu ace, but the UFC’s all-time leader in submission wins has knocked out three of his past five opponents, including Michael Chandler to claim the vacant lightweight title at UFC 262.

Currently vying for the No. 1 contender spot are prolific strikers Dustin Poirier (27-6 MMA, 19-5 UFC) and Conor McGregor (22-5 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who will compete in a trilogy bout that headlines UFC 264 on July 10.

But whoever comes out victorious, Oliveira is confident that he can knock him out, too.

“I never choose opponents,” Oliveira said. “I am always ready to fight. They are two big names in the sport, the lightweights. Everyone knows that a fight with Conor has a lot of money and one with Dustin not so much, but they are two great opponents. I don’t choose my fights. I will be ready. I really believe in my jiu-jitsu against either of them, but something tells me that if I fought them, I would knock them both out. I’m feeling fine.” (H/T UOL Esporte, translation via BJPenn.com).

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If there was ever a knock on Oliveira’s game in the past, it was his ability to handle pressure. In his losses to the likes of Paul Felder, Ricardo Lamas and Anthony Pettis, Oliveira was in control until his opponents were able to break him and turn things around by stopping him.

But training under the tutelage of Diego Lima at the famed Chute Boxe Academy, Oliveira’s striking has improved leaps and bounds and he thinks his multifaceted skill set makes him even more dangerous on the feet.

“A few years ago, Charles was the jiu-jitsu guy who walked forward, took a beating and was a little afraid,” Oliveira said. “Today, I’m not afraid to fight these guys. The funny thing is that when I start fighting, they try to put me down – to do what I know best. This shows how much I’m evolving on my feet. It will definitely be a great fight. Charles, today, is not a jiu-jitsu fighter. He’s a complete fighter, both standing and on the ground. But I think everyone will be knocked out.”

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