Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje Set for UFC Lightweight Title Fight on May 7January 26, 2022
UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira will fight Justin Gaethje on May 7, UFC President Dana White confirmed to Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
Oliveira claimed the vacant title with his second-round TKO of Michael Chandler at UFC 262 in May. He successfully defended the belt against Dustin Poirier at UFC 269 in December.
Gaethje rebounded from his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2020 to earn a unanimous decision over Chandler at UFC 268 in November.
Within the division, Conor McGregor attempted to leapfrog the field following Oliveira's victory over Poirier.
Oliveira responded days later to say he'd be open to the proposition.
Considering McGregor has dropped three of his last four fights, he might need to notch another win or two before he is competing for the lightweight gold again.
Gaethje is the No. 1 challenger in the UFC rankings, and he has yet to cross paths with the current champ. As Oliveira looks to extend his winning streak to 11 fights, the Arizona native made the most sense as his next opponent.
Gaethje also told BT Sport he was willing to challenge Oliveira on the champion's home turf.
"There's a card in Brazil May 7," he said at the 3:53 mark of the interview. "I want to fight the Brazilian champion in Brazil. I want the chaos."
According to Okamoto, the UFC was looking at Brazil as a staging ground for UFC 274 but might now be focusing on locations within the United States.
Oliveira vs. Gaethje will be at least one of two championship fights on the card. Okamoto reported Saturday that Glover Teixeira will put the light heavyweight belt on the line against Jiri Prochazka.