“The conversation opens up again as Charles Oliveira becoming the greatest of all time at Lightweight, I really do,” Sterling said on his podcast. “I know people are gonna say, well Khabib’s never lost a round, never saw his own blood. Guys, when we say greatest of all time, what are we actually talking about?”While Oliveira is definitely up there for his insane resume that includes wins over Beneil Dariush, Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier and many more, Sterling understands the argument for Khabib being the greatest lightweight of all time, too and quite possibly Makhachev depending on the body of work he puts on in the future.
And seeing someone bounce back from an L, the way that Oliveira has done time and time again in his career, there’s something to be say about that.”
“If Oliveira were to lose to Makhachev again, okay, then we have some real serious conversations where we’re saying like, alright we kind of know now that these two guys are greater than Oliveira in the sense of their career. Cause that’s a very huge and critical turning point or accolade that you need to have if you wanna be considered or to be in that conversation anymore.”
‘You Have To Include Charles Oliveira In That Against Khabib’
“But in terms of accolades, I understand never losing a round. That’s a very impressive stat as well. I would argue that Conor has won some rounds against him, one for sure… But I think this is a real conversation that we have to have and consider.
“I think he has to be within that conversation, you have to include Charles Oliveira in that against Khabib,” Sterling added. “And then the next best thing right now it seems like is Makhachev closing in. So, that’s where I’m at and I’m really looking at title defenses and then winning streak as well. Not like your entire [win-streak], I’m talking like in the UFC, getting into those type of win streaks in the UFC. It’s very difficult to do.
Aljamain Sterling thinks Charles Oliveira may be cementing himself as the best lightweight to ever do it.
Charles Oliveira = Lightweight GOAT?
Of course, Charles Oliveira isn’t the only fighter in the running for lightweight ‘GOAT’ status. Former UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is highly considered for that since he retired on top with a perfect 29-0 record with his protege Islam Makhachev following in his footsteps.
Despite being submitted by Makhachev last year, UFC Bantamweight Champion Aljamain Sterling still holds Oliveira in very, very high regard.
“We know pound for pound means if everything were equal skill-for-skill, who do we think would be the best? I think it’s tough, a tough debate between two high level guys in Jon Jones, Alex Volkanovski. Skill for Skill, greatest of all time— what’s the criteria for that? Is it just accolades? Cause if it’s just accolades, Charles Oliveira has a pretty damn good resume from title defenses, style points on finishes, been in the game longer.”
“So, big fight in Abu Dhabi coming up. Looks like that’s gonna be the fight. Dana White wants it, I want it. The fans want it. Cannot wait. Charles Oliveira again rematching Makhachev for the belt.”
We’ll see how the conversation changes later this year, should Oliveira meet Makhachev again in a title rematch for the ages.