Charles Oliveira has likely booked himself a rematch with reigning lightweight champion Islam Makhachev.
‘Do Bronx’ scored a highlight-reel-worthy TKO against streaking standout Beneil Dariush in the UFC 289 co-main event on Friday night. The result saw Oliveira score a much-needed return to the win column after a second-round submission loss at the hands of the current 155-pound king, Islam Makhachev last October.
Michael Bisping, joined by light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith, shared his thoughts on Oliveira’s standout performance against Dariush and the evolution of ‘Do Bronx’ as he works his way back toward another opportunity to reclaim the UFC lightweight title.
“I think when you look at Charles Oliveira today, this man is capable of knocking anybody out,” Bisping said on the Believe You Me podcast. “A great Thai boxer. Vicious in the clinch. Of course, we know about the jiu-jitsu. But now this guy, he knows it and he believes it and you can see that from the way he fights. The way he walks people down from the opening bell. He truly believes in himself and he’s willing to take those risks. Willing to put himself in harm’s way to be able to land this shot and that is what makes me such a fan of this guy.
“And then on top of that, the way he handled the post-fight speech with DC because now he’s got a little bit of charisma coming through,” Bisping continued. “He’s speaking a little bit of English. And even when he was using Fabiano, the translator, even through the translator he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. ‘Who’s the champion?!’ and the entire crown cheers and roars and then he jumps on the cage mid-speech and comes back to DC. I mean, that man’s a star. That man’s a superstar. What he’s doing, the way that he’s fighting, he’s really now showing who Charles Oliveira really is. It’s a beautiful thing to see.”
Brazilian commentator goes off during Charles Oliveira vs Beneil Dariush. There’s nothing like the commentary from home country. This goes insanely HARD @CharlesDoBronxs 🔥
— Hamza (@iHxmza9) June 11, 2023
Despite the Impressive Finish Against Beneil Dariush, Bisping and ‘Lionheart’ Are Not Confident Charles Oliveira Can Beat Makhachev in Rematch
As great as Oliveira looked against Beneil Dariush at UFC 289, the fact remains that ‘Do Bronx’ will likely find himself once again standing across from the baddest man in the division later this year, Islam Makhachev. The Dagestani Destroyer dominated Oliveira en route to becoming the lightweight world champion at UFC 280 last year. Is this seemingly evolved version of Oliveira good enough to dethrone Khabib Nurmagomedov’s protege the second time around? According to Michael Bisping, no.
“I’m gonna say he losses again,” Bisping predicted.
Anthony Smith, who has a history of picking against Charles Oliveira in practically every fight, is rolling with the Brazilian superstar in a proposed rematch with Makhachev, though he’s admittedly less than confident that ‘Do Bronx’ can solve the puzzle that the reigning lightweight champ presents.
“I just said I can’t not believe in him anymore and then five minutes later pick against him. It’s such a… I’m gonna say Oliveira, but I’m not confident,” Smith said.
No official announcement has been made, but Dana White confirmed that Makhachev vs. Oliveira II is the obvious fight to make. The bout will likely go down at UFC 294 when the promotion returns to Abu Dhabi.