Dana White Reveals Why Charles Oliveira Turned Down a Fight Against Michael Chandler

Published 02/12/2021, 8:05 AM EST
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 04: UFC President Dana White speaks to the media during the UFC 217 post fight press conference event inside Madison Square Garden on November 4, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)


UFC President Dana White spoke to Complex on his media rounds ahead of UFC 258 that goes down on Feb 13. White was not short on adjectives when describing the high stakes main event that is a huge attraction. Chiefly, Kamaru ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ Usman will look to defend his title for the third time against Gilbert Burns.

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Additionally, Dana White also touched on the current state of affairs in the UFC’s lightweight division. The 155-pound weight class is arguably the most popular one on the roster and it’s easy to see why. The division comes in as one of the most talent stacked division that goes all the way down past the top 15 ranks.

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Dana White pulls back the curtain

The long-time boss of the UFC did a deep dive into the reasoning behind why the Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler booking fell through. The two were reportedly supposed to fight at UFC 258 on very short notice per statements given by Chandler. However, after some digging, it was revealed that ‘Do Bronx’ turned down the fight and White reveals how it happened.

LAS VEGAS, NV – OCTOBER 07: Dana White speaks to the media during the UFC 229 post fight press conference at T-Mobile Arena on October 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“Was there an offer for Chandler to fight Oliveira? Yeah. But to be fair to Oliveira it was soon. We were just checking to see if those guys wanted a quick turnaround and Oliveira said ‘I want a full camp’ and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

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“I don’t want to make it sounds like Oliveira turned down Michael Chandler because that’s not true. What Oliveira turned down was a short notice fight. If we could make it and pull it off, we wanted to do it. He wants a full camp, absolutely fair.”

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The aforementioned fight is extremely consequential given the fact that both men have a high ranking place in the division. Not to mention, Michael Chandler’s recent KO win has certainly solidified the fact that he’s a threat. However, it’s unclear whether the fight will happen considering that Oliveira wants to exclusively fight for the belt next. ‘Iron’ Chandler isn’t necessarily in the conversation just yet leaving the fight to simply be a potential option going forward.

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Darryl Pinto

1450 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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