For Islam Makhachev, a title fight is inevitable, says his cousin Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Oliveira vs. Makhachev?
The only thing standing between the rising contender and a title shot, is another top-ranked fighter: Beneil Dariush. Makhachev will meet Dariush in a main event on February 26th and the winner will look to secure a title shot.
Oliveira is the current reigning champ at 155lbs, overseeing all the contenders including Makhachev. He would prove Khabib wrong by beating his pick, Dustin Poirier. Now, Nurmagomedov believes Oliveira will hold onto the belt as his cousin makes it into title contention. Oliveira is expected to face Justin Gaethje next.
Things are about to get very interesting in the lightweight division.
“Right now is Charles Oliveira time,” Nurmagomedov told ESPN. “He impressed me, and I really believe he is one of the best fighters in the world right now and best lightweight in the world. It’s going to be very interesting fight if next fight Islam wins and Charles wins, and they’re going to fight end of the next year. It’s going to be a great fight.
Styles Make Fights
There has much thought going into a potential fight between ‘Do Bronx’ and the Dagestani. It would be a great battle of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu vs. Sambo. Those are the same styles that would have been present in Khabib vs. Tony Ferguson, but unfortunately that fight would be cancelled four different times.
Fast forward to 2022 and we may be getting the same stylistic matchup after years of waiting.
Similar in fighting styles to Khabib and Ferguson, the two also share storylines that mirror that of ‘The Eagle’ and ‘El Cucuy’.
“It’s going to be a little bit like Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib, you know – Islam vs. Charles Oliveira. They both win. Right now, (Oliveira) has (a) 10-(fight) win streak. If Islam wins next fight, Islam is going to have 10-win streak. And 11-win streak, Charles Oliveira.
“It’s going to be great, great fight for both of them and for UFC for sure. I really (hope) they both win and they fight end of the next year.”
Oliveira and Makhachev have other opponents to prepare for, come the first half of next year. The champion will defend against ‘The Highlight’ himself, Justin Gaethje. Makhachev will look dominate once again, as he faces off against Beneil Dariush.
Khabib still believes the fighters will meet in a title fight in late 2022.