- Charles Oliveira respects Khabib Nurmagomedov’s decision to stay retired but he’s always open for a fight
- The Brazilian explained why even though he’s more experienced than Islam Makhachev, he’ll still shock the world
Charles Oliveira is facing a different opponent at UFC 280 in Islam Makhachev but the media couldn’t help but still linked him to Khabib Nurmagomedov. For “do Bronx,” Makhachev and Nurmagomedov are not the same but he has no problems fighting both.
Keeping the door open
When Nurmagomedov was still active, he and Oliveira never had the chance to meet inside the octagon. However, the Brazilian is keeping his door open for “The Eagle” if he ever decides to return. Until then, Oliveira is focused on Makhachev, which is “a different story.”
“[Islam] He’s a protégé of Khabib and he buries that weight on his shoulders,” Oliveira told ESPN MMA. “I didn’t choose fights. I just got on with him and this is what we’re going to do. It’s a different story.”
“Well, the fight is against Islam,” he pointed out. “Whenever [Khabib] he’s willing to get back and get on with it. I’ll always be ready… Honestly, I don’t think he’s gonna be fighting again. He said he’s retired, he’s done. And I fully respect that decision.”
Ready to prove people wrong
When asked to describe what to expect from him at UFC 280, Oliveira said he would “shock the world, yet again.” Given many believe he has faced tougher opponents than Makhachev, and he has already become a champ, Oliveira lifted the lid on what he meant by saying he’ll shock the world.
According to the former lightweight champion, he would prove to people who believe Makhachev could beat him that his experience and skills are far greater than his opponent.
“Opinions are subjective and some people believe that I would be a potential winner, he would be a potential winner,” Oliveira explained. “But I’m gonna show that my history, my background, the number of fights I’ve had, my contenders – these will come to show on that very night. In this sense, I’ll shock the world because people will change their opinion about this.”
UFC 280 is set to happen on Oct. 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. Both Oliveira and Makhachev are coming off incredible winning streaks but only one could be hailed lightweight champion. So, let’s wait and see how things will play out.