Dominick Cruz has shared his thoughts on Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev, and who he is picking in the fight.
Dominick Cruz Breaks Down Oliveira vs. Makhachev
That being a lightweight title clash between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev for the vacant 155-pound title.
“The Dominator” explained that he sees the fight going one of two ways.
First, if anybody is going to finish the fight, Cruz believes that Oliveira will get it done with his submission game.
However, if it goes the distance, Makhachev should pick up the victory via decision.
“I think that Oliveira has the best chance to finish the fight, so in the first three rounds I think he can finish it,” Cruz said. “But if it goes the distance, I think Makhachev wins it because he has the best chance of winning a decision.”
“In the early days of (Oliveira’s) career, the way he would lose, you would defend his submissions and keep him on his back and ride the clock and ground and pound, or land big shots on the feet, then take him down and then not get submitted,” Cruz said. “If you could survive the onslaught of his ground game, then you could ride him out to a decision. So if it goes five rounds, I think Makhachev has the style to stay out of the submissions, stay on top, and blanket Oliveira and shut down a lot of his submission game.
“But the thing that’s making Oliveira so dangerous right now is since he’s moved up, he’s put a huge frame on, and he’s very strong with his striking. He’s got the perfect style because he doesn’t care about takedowns. So he can commit 100 percent to knees and elbows and long, straight punches and just walk and march forward. So when you try and take him down, he doesn’t really care so he can strike with different recklessness than he used to. In the past, he used to try to stop takedowns and now he doesn’t. He accepts them by committing 100 percent to his striking. So finish ability, I give to Oliveira, decision I give to Makhachev.” (h/t MMAJunkie)
As for Cruz, he’s currently on a two-fight winning streak. He’s currently the No. 8-ranked bantamweight in the division
He’s slated to face Marlon Vera on August 13 at UFC on ESPN 41. If Cruz is able to string together a few more wins, he could be looking at another title opportunity.
Cruz reigned as a dominant bantamweight champion from 2010 to 2016, when he was unseated by Cody Garbrandt.