Oliveira (34-9 MMA, 22-9 UFC) was originally scheduled to face lightweight champion Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) at UFC 294, but unfortunately had to withdraw due to a laceration sustained during training. Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski stepped in as a replacement, but was knocked out by Makhachev in the first round.
Prior to UFC 294, White mentioned that Oliveira could potentially receive the next title shot, but he has not confirmed it yet. The decision will depend on Oliveira’s recovery and when he is cleared to compete.
When asked about Oliveira’s status, White stated, “That’s all going to be determined by his cut. It was a pretty nasty cut. It was pretty deep. The thing that’s really good about it is he went to a plastic surgeon, so they sewed it up from the inside out, and hopefully that’s going to help it heal faster and heal properly.”
Oliveira was previously submitted by Makhachev at UFC 280 last October. However, he bounced back with a first-round TKO victory over Beneil Dariush at UFC 289 in June, earning himself a rematch with Makhachev.
Following his second win against Volkanovski, Makhachev has multiple options for his next fight. Justin Gaethje, the “BMF” champion who recently knocked out Dustin Poirier at UFC 291, has expressed interest in a title shot. Another possibility is Mateusz Gamrot, a top contender who served as a backup for the Makhachev vs. Volkanovski fight.
Makhachev also has his eyes set on the welterweight title, and is keeping an eye on the Edwards vs. Covington matchup at UFC 296 on Dec. 16.
For more information about the event, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.
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