- Charles Oliveira’s wrestling coach Alireza Noei thinks Islam Makhachev wouldn’t be able to match the Brazilian’s wrestling
- Noei also shared his thoughts on Alexander Volkanovski
The much-awaited lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev is just hours away from happening. Ahead of the bout, Oliveira’s wrestling coach Alireza Noei shared his prediction and unsurprisingly, he is certain the fight will go down to the ground.
It’s too much wrestling for Islam
Breaking down his pupil’s approach for Islam, Noei said Oliveira has “heavy hands” but he has also put in a tremendous amount of work and effort in honing his wrestling game. Though there was an evident advantage on the standup, Noei is confident “do Bronx” will take it to the ground and get the job done.
“Charles has heavy hands so he has an advantage,” Noei said on this Trocação Franca podcast via MMA Fighting. “[Makhachev] isn’t afraid to fight off his back because he has evolved a lot. I have a friend that trains at AKA and he said Islam has great jiu-jitsu. He will definitely try to use his wrestling to take Charles down and hold him, control and win rounds, but Charles has trained enough wrestling to break Islam’s game.”
“When [Makhachev] goes down, his head will be messed up,” he added. “If the opportunity comes, Charles will take him down. Charles’ wrestling has evolved a lot. Watch his fight with Tony Ferguson, he took him down a lot. He will take Islam down.”
A KO is also possible
Oliveira has nine KO/TKO finishes to his name, so Noei isn’t ruling out a possible knockout win as well. He is predicting a third-round finish or a dominant decision win for the Brazilian.
“If Charles takes him down, 80 percent [chance] he catches him,” Noei assessed. “But I think Charles either knocks him out or taps him in the third round, or wins a decision after five rounds. … This fight will be a shock for everybody.”
What about Volk?
Volkanovski flew all the way to Abu Dhabi in the hopes of being slated as a replacement should something uncertain takes place. The current UFC pound-for-pound king is looking to become a double champion but between Oliveira and Makhachev, “The Great” is rooting for the Russian fighter.
For Noei, it doesn’t matter what Volk thinks of Oliveira as he sees the featherweight champ as a “very easy” fight for “do Bronx.”
“He’s the 145 champion and he’s great, heavy hands, but someone with good wrestling takes him down,” Noei explained. “Chad Mendes took him down in their fight, [but] he fought well when he went down. Charles fighting him, the first heavy hand that lands – Charles drops him and catches him…Easy for Charles. Very easy for Charles. He has weak wrestling. If this fight gets booked, he wins in the first round.”
UFC 280 MMA event is taking place currently at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.