- Islam Makhachev has broken down how a fight with Charles Oliveira would play out
- The Dagestani fighter hopes the UFC will make the fight happen
Following his victory over Justin Gaethje, Charles Oliveira, who is already the other half of the next lightweight title fight, has become the top target of Islam Makhachev. Ahead of the potential showdown, Makhachev is already certain he will get the better of the Brazilian.
Oliveira will give up
In a recent interview with ESPN, Makhachev repeatedly said that he is “100 percent” sure Oliveira will give up. He also reiterated that he can beat the former champion in his own game and making him “tired” will be the key to his victory.
“He is same,” Makhachev said of Oliveira. “If someone comes like give him hard time, he’s gonna give up 100 percent. [Michael] Chandler dropped him down but nobody kept him there, make him a little bit tired, give him hard time.”
“He will just use his hands and want to give [his opponent] hard punch and tired after two, three minutes,” he added. “Everybody’s scared [of] his grappling but I don’t care about his grappling honestly because I grapple with the best grapplers in the world. I grapple with Khabib all my life that’s why I don’t care about his grappling…I know I’m gonna take him down…grappling is his area but I’m gonna finish him in his area…When I make him tired, I know 100 percent he’s gonna give up.”
Makhachev went on to assess Oliveira’s strategy and he believes the “Do Bronx” will try and “pressure” him. However, the Dagestani fighter is not intimidated as he sees himself having more attributes in his arsenal.
“I think he’s gonna try to pressure me like how he did in last three, four fights but I don’t care, I have good judo style, I have good judo skills, I have good wrestling skills,” Makhachev pointed out. “When he try to pressure me, I just hold him and just take down. He has good striking, he has good knees, he has good kicks but my game plan, my skills is much better than him.”
The fight should happen
Khabib Nurmagomedov immediately vouched for Oliveira vs. Makhachev title fight shortly after UFC 274. Makhachev feels the same way and he doesn’t see any reason why the fight is not happening.
“We don’t have a champion because he [Oliveira] don’t make weight,” he explained. “He is not a professional. I don’t know but they have to make [that fight].”
Despite the absence of an owner for the lightweight title, Dana White still wants Makhachev to fight Beneil Dariush, who is recuperating from an ankle injury. Whatever happens next, Makhachev is confident that he’ll be a champ soon.
“The UFC said we have to find some contender, but this is not a contender match. We don’t have a champion, Makhachev said. “Charles is a contender, too. I hope I deserve it because I have a 10-fight win streak, and I’m ready. This is my time now. Who’s gonna fight with Oliveira now? We don’t have nobody. Who? Gaethje, Tony, or Poirier? Chandler? Who next for Oliveira?”
Oliveria seemed disdainful towards Islam and instead mentioned Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz, a point that Makhachev doesn’t get it.
“If Charles says I’m not ready or something, or he says Islam doesn’t deserve, but he asked to fight Nate Diaz or Conor,” Makhachev mentioned. “I want to ask him, ‘Hey, these guys deserve (it) who you call all the time?’ I don’t know. They have to make me vs. Charles, 10-win streak vs. 11-win streak. It’s a very big fight.”
Things are about to get even more interesting in the 155-pound division as Oliveira has a lot of options in front of him. Apart from Makhachev, Conor McGregor, Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier are all presenting a strong case as well.