Oliveira (34-9 MMA, 22-9 UFC) was scheduled to challenge lightweight champion Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) in a title-fight rematch this past Saturday at UFC 294, but he withdrew after suffering a laceration in training. Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski replaced Oliveira on short notice but lost to Makhachev by first-round knockout.
Prior to UFC 294, White said Oliveira could get the next title shot. After the event, he’s yet to confirm that Oliveira is next and said that will depend on when he’s cleared to compete.
“That’s all going to be determined by his cut,” White told MMA Junkie and other reporters Wednesday. “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.”
Former champion Oliveira was submitted by Makhachev at UFC 280 last October. He then rebounded with a first-round TKO of streaking Beneil Dariush at UFC 289 in June to earn himself a rematch with Makhachev.
After beating Volkanovski a second time, Makhachev has options. “BMF” champion Justin Gaethje, who’s coming off a knockout of Dustin Poirier at UFC 291, made his case for a title shot. Another option is top contender Mateusz Gamrot, who weighed in as a backup for Makhachev vs. Volkanovski.
Makhachev also has his sights set on the welterweight title, eyeing the winner of champion Leon Edwards vs. Colby Covington at UFC 296 on Dec. 16.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.