Gilbert Burns has backed Charles Oliveira to win over Islam Makhachev in a potential fight next.
At UFC 274, Oliveira beat out Justin Gaethje with a first-round finish to extend his dominant reign at the top. Although he may not be the current UFC lightweight champion, there are few doubts that he is the best in the division. Given the vacant status of the gold at 155-lbs, Islam Makhachev has emerged as the frontrunner to challenge Oliveira for his claim to the strap.
Gilbert Burns defends Oliveira’s record
Legendary UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov has been one of the most ardent supporters of Makhachev in his quest for the title. Khabib has claimed Islam to be a better fighter than Oliveira. He has given the Brazilian props for his recent success but still doesn’t consider him to be in contention for GOAT status.
In a recent interview with Helen Yee, Gilbert Burns defended Oliveira’s record highlighting the difference in the level of competition the 32-year-old faced.
“A couple guys they have a record built. They got a lot of easy fights, and they make and they come with lot of fights, undefeated but this guy was in the fire since he was so young. He was in the UFC fighting the best guys. For sure, he got a couple of losses but Charles Oliveira right now, 2022, wow!”
Burns backs Oliveira to win over Islam
Moving on to the likelihood of Charles Oliveira taking on Islam Makhachev for the vacant UFC lightweight belt, ‘Durinho’ backed his fellow Brazilian to come out on top of that contest.
“If Burns was the matchmaker, I would make Islam and Oliveira for sure. That’s a fight that’s very intriguing. I still believe Oliveira can get a win because of his striking, because of the pressure he does, the jiu-jitsu”
“Oliveira is huge for that division. I took a picture with that guy, that guy is bigger than me. I was looking like, ‘bro, you’re big.'”
When probed by the interviewer Helen Yee about the comparisons being made to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Burns reiterated his belief in Oliveira.
“I’m a fan of both but right now, Oliveira right now is unbeatable.”
Gilbert Burns is coming off an amazing performance against Khamzat Chimaev at UFC 273. While his next opponent has not been announced yet, ‘Durinho’ expects to get a big money matchup as he becomes a bigger draw in the sport.