Islam Makhachev recently dismissed Leon Edwards‘ UFC 278 victory over Kamaru Usman as nothing more than luck. The Dagestani fighter is in preparations for his own world title fight with fan-favorite Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira at UFC 280 in October.
Riding a 10-fight win streak, Makhachev will get his first crack at UFC gold against the former lightweight titleholder. While speaking with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto about his impending showdown with Oliveira this fall, Islam Makhachev briefly discussed Edwards’ historic win over ‘The Nigerian Nightmare.’ Makhachev was quick to disregard the upset and luck and believes Usman will regain the welterweight title in a potential trilogy bout.
“Edwards [got] lucky because [Usman] beat him all five rounds, almost,” Makhachev said. “First round, [Edwards took] him down, take his back, but other rounds [Usman] beat him very easy, took him down many times and smashed him there. When they’re going to fight again in rematch, 100 percent I think Kamaru is going to beat him because Edwards have same problem, always with wrestling guys.”
It looks like Edwards will defend his title against Usman in a trilogy fight. In an interview with TMZ, Usman stated that he wanted to finish Edwards rather than coast, a decision that ultimately led to “The Nigerian Nightmare” losing the match.
Islam Makhachev Accuses Charles Oliveira of Avoiding Grapplers
Islam Makhachev is ready to seize the moment on October 22nd at UFC 280. As the successor to former UFC lightweight world champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, the MMA is eager to see how Makhachev fares against Charles Oliveira who will be the biggest test of the Dagestani fighter’s career thus far.
In an interview on EPSN’s ‘DC & RC‘ Makhachev is far from impressed with Oliveira’s recent success and accused the fighter of specifically dodging grapplers like himself to compete against strikers such as Michael Chandler and Justin Gaethje.
“He’s lost in the UFC seven times. He’s not gonna be upset if he loses one more time. People finished him seven times in the UFC and this guy’s champion in my division. I’m very upset because of [this].
“Everybody who says Dustin Poirier or Justin Gaethje or other guys … they’re all guys that are old, they have money, they don’t challenge,” Makhachev said. “We have new blood. Me, [Mateusz] Gamrot, Beneil Dariush, these are really tough guys for him. Because Dustin Poirier or Justin Gaethje, they’re never grappling, just striking. That’s why this is easy fight for him. But he knows Islam Makhachev is a very hard fight for him.
“All fighters who he beat, all striking. I’m gonna take him down very fast. Listen, Tony Ferguson had a little bit of grappling, he couldn’t finish him. Tony Ferguson was a hard fight for him. He fought all [three] rounds because Tony Ferguson knows something about grappling, not too much, but he knows something.”