Brazilian MMA star Charles Oliveira has been tipped to ruin Conor McGregor‘s dreams of a long reign as UFC lightweight champion, according to Dan Hardy.
McGregor’s rematch with Poirier won’t be for the lightweight title, but the ‘Notorious’ is expected to face a tricky obstacle in the form of Oliveira.
And ‘Do Bronx,’ who is currently on an eight-fight winning streak, will be in contention for a lightweight title shot.
Former UFC welterweight title contender Hardy believes that Oliveira will emerge as the new lightweight kingpin by the end of 2021 ahead of McGregor.
The 38-year-old UFC colour commentator told The Daily Mirror: “Of all the weight classes that could be up in the air, the one person I’m watching in the sport at the moment who has the potential to be a champion is that man [Oliveira].
“The way he ran through Kevin Lee last March and the way he dominated Tony Ferguson in every range.
“Justin Gaethje had a fantastic performance against Ferguson as well but Oliveira wasn’t even out of third gear and I don’t think we’ve seen [all] of his skill set yet.
“He’s a great grappler, he holds the record for submissions but now he’s stopping people with single punches.
“The Nik Lentz fight… he caught his kick, punched him right down the pipe, caught his foot so he couldn’t get away from him while he finished him on the floor.
“The application of his full mixed martial arts skillset right now, I don’t think there’s anyone else at lightweight who can bring all the tools to the table like he can.
“Whether he can apply them all or not is what we’re going to find out this year, but as far as technical ability, Charles Oliveira is the guy in this division.”