Charles Oliveira’s wrestling coach Alireza Noei thinks Islam Makhachev is a better wrestler than Khabib Nurmagomedov.
As the much-anticipated bout between former champion Charles Oliveira and number one contender Islam Makhachev inches closer their skill sets and abilities will surely be brought more into the public eye. This is one of the best possible matchups in the lightweight division and come Oct. 22 the world will know exactly who is the top man at 155 pounds. The fact that the UFC lightweight championship sits vacant at this time just makes this bout even more exciting to fans.
Oliveira is no longer the champion after failing to make weight at UFC 274. As a result of the failed cut, he was stripped of the belt but won his fight against Justin Gaethje. Now he is looking to get his belt back and continue on his winning streak. Standing in his way is a young fighter with a lot of hype behind him.
Makhachev is on quite a winning streak himself. He has won ten in a row and living up to the reputation set out by his coach and mentor former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. The comparison between Makhachev and Nurmagomedov is forever ongoing, but in the eyes of Oliveira and his team, they may be getting a better version of Nurmagomedov in Makhachev.
Oliveira’s wrestling coach Alireza Noei spoke in an interview with PVT on YouTube about how he feels Makhachev’s wrestling skills stand up against his mentor.
“Let’s begin with the wrestling of Dagestan, Russian wrestling, 80% of wrestling of Russia comes from there. The Japanese wrestling that is called judo is also, you can ask the Judokas, Dagestan has really good Judokas,” he said. “World champions, Olympic champions, just like the wrestlers. Everyone from Dagestan knows wrestling. For example here in Brazil almost half of the people know wrestling but in Dagestan almost 100% know it, girls, women, men, everyone knows it. Even someone that doesn’t fight knows wrestling at least knows two or three wrestling coaches. Dagestan is a pool of wrestling. Charles‘s adversary Islam Makhachev is very good at wrestling. I think even better than Khabib which is another athlete from Dagestan. He is better, certainly, of course, because he is a wrestler Khabib isn’t. Khabib is a Sambo fighter Islam has also done Sambo but he is a wrestler first and then a Sambo fighter and then an MMA fighter.”
Oliveira is no slouch on the ground. He is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and has 16 submission victories in his UFC career. This bout will be interesting to see the two different grappling styles meet up and to see two fighters with ten wins in a row stand toe to toe in the cage. This bout goes down at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 22.