TMZ Sports talked to the UFC honcho just days before he headed back to Fight Island in Abu Dhabi ... where UFC 280 is going down Saturday afternoon (in the USA). O'Malley isn't shy about his desire to be a global star, so we asked Dana if Suga had what it took.
"100% and it's all about winning those key fights. He needs to win this fight this weekend against Petr Yan. He beats Petr Yan, watch what happens on Sunday," Dana said.
"It will be crazy, but yeah, Conor, on his way up, won all of the key fights he needed to win. It's not for a title or anything but Petr Yan is the number-one-ranked guy in the world."
There's a dream scenario amongst many fans. Oliveira beats Makhachev, and then Khabib Nurmagomedov comes out of retirement to avenge his brother's loss.
Possible?! We asked Dana.
"That's hilarious. I love it. Believe me, that would be everybody's dream scenario, including mine if he beats Islam," White said.
Dana also provided some caution to people who think Islam's going to roll right through Charles.
"[Oliveira's] one of the guys that's sort of slips under the radar and people don't realize it. He's on an 11-fight win streak. He's got the record for the most finishes in UFC history, he's got the most submissions in UFC history, tied for overall UFC post-fight bonuses. He has most Performance Of The Night awards in UFC history, most submissions in both UFC lightweight and featherweight history!"
"I mean the guy has records on top of records on top of records! It's incredible."
We also spoke to Makhachev earlier in the week ... and talked about all things Charles Oliveira, backup fighter Alex Volkanovski, and UFC 280.