There has been a lot of hype in the build-up to the main event of UFC 280, when Charles Oliveira fights Islam Makhachev for the undisputed lightweight title. Former lightweight champion and Makhachev’s current head coach Khabib Nurmagomedov weighed in on the threats Oliveira poses while expressing his confidence that Islam gets the job done.
“He’s got a very good guillotine,” Khabib stated when asked about the threats Oliveira poses. “As for his standups, really good knees and kicks. Teeps to the body and head…he’s gained a lot of experience and confidence in the last few years. We are definitely not looking past him.”
These statements come on the tails of Oliveira declaring that his fight with Islam isn’t going past the first round. His game plan is to knock Makhachev out before it gets to the judges. When asked what dangers Makhachev brings to the fight, Oliveira responded “Makhachev deserves all the respect in the world. He’s got very good takedowns and I think he’s going to stick to that strategy…he’s going to try and take me down and nullify my legs.”
However, much like Khabib is confident in Islam, Oliveira believes in his hands. “I really believe in the power of my hands,” he continued. “It’s not disrespect, I’m not trying to talk trash. It’s what I believe, the firepower that I have in my hands…this fight won’t go past the first round. I’ll knock this guy out.”
Earlier in that interview with AG Fight, Oliveira said Islam Makhachev’s team refused to take the fight in Brazil, and if they had, they would be fighting on the January card in Rio de Janeiro. They talked so much about how they would take the fight in Brazil, That’s a lie. If they had accepted to fight in Brazil, we would be fighting in January. I talked so much about that Rio card,” claimed Oliveira. “The truth is that they talked, talked, talked, but took the fight to where they wanted,” he continued. “It’s ok. The Octagon is the same anywhere in the world, in any country. Charles will be 100% ready.”
With both Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira supremely confident, UFC 280 is making out to be a legendary card. It goes down October 22 from the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It’s an absolutely stacked PPV, with the main card also featuring the bantamweight championship between Aljamain Sterling and TJ Dillashaw, as well as the bantamweight contenders bout between Petr Yan and Sean O’Malley.
With all the hype surrounding the build up…the only question now is, who ya got? Do you agree with Khabib about Islam’s path to victory? Or will Oliveira’s prediction of a first round knockout come true?