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‘Cowboy’ Oliveira to Khamzat Chimaev: ‘I’ll take the fight no one else wants’

With Khamzat Chimaev seemingly struggling to get a top-ranked opponent for a main event, Alex Oliveira is stepping up to the plate.

Oliveira (21-8-1 MMA, 11-6 UFC), who has been in and out of the UFC’s top 15 at welterweight over the past several years, wants his chance to test the meddle of the mettle of undefeated sensation Chimaev (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC).

On Monday, Oliveira’s manager Alex Davis relayed a message from “Cowboy” to Chimaev.

“I’ll take the fight no one else wants,” Oliveira told MMA Junkie. “Chimaev, I’m ready for a fight at welterweight right now. I see you picking and choosing opponents. I’m right here.”

Following Chimaev’ 17-second knockout of Gerald Meerschaert in August, UFC president Dana White lauded the Russian for being “special.” White said he wanted to accelerate his career path with a main event against a ranked foe, perhaps as soon as November. As of Monday, nothing has been finalized.

Former title challenger Stephen Thompson was a name discussed, but “Wonderboy” has since said the matchup doesn’t interest him.

Oliveira, who has been in the UFC since March 2015, is willing to step up. The Brazilian holds wins over Carlos Condit, Will Brooks, Tim Means, Max Griffin, and more during his octagon tenure, and is coming off back-to-back victories at welterweight.

Davis said he’s contacted the UFC about the potential matchup involving his client, and they want to see if Chimaev is the real deal.

“I’m itching to fight Chimaev,” Oliveira said. “If you want to pick and choose opponents, I’ll fight you.”

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