Lightweight contender Islam Makhachev believes that Charles Oliveira isn’t confident heading into UFC 280.
The two lightweights are set to square off in October with gold on the line. The Brazilian famously lost his titles back on the scale in May. Oliveira missed weight for his UFC 274 headliner against Justin Gaethje and was stripped of his championship.
The UFC 280 booking wasn’t something the former champion wanted. Oliveira has admitted that he preferred a matchup with Conor McGregor, rather than fighting the Russian. The 32-year-old later stated he only accepted the fight with Makhachev, for a matchup with ‘The Notorious’ down the line.
Islam Makhachev views Charles Oliveira’s comments as a sign of lacking confidence. In an interview with ESPN MMA‘s Brett Okamoto, the lightweight stated that the Brazilian is afraid heading into UFC 280.
The Russian stated that his belief comes from the former champion refusing to call him out. Instead, Oliveira targeted the matchup with Conor McGregor. In Makhachev’s viewpoint, that shows a lack of confidence heading into their title encounter. He also believes he’s a bad matchup for Oliveira and the rest of the division.
“I don’t think [he believes he can win],” Makhachev said. “Because, you know, when he beat [Michael] Chandler, he never say my name, you know? He say Dustin Poirier, but he never say my name. Nate Diaz, he called [out] Nate Diaz. He called [out] Conor [McGregor] many times, but never said my name.” (h/t MMANews)
“He knows it’s gonna be — I am hard fight for everybody because I have always same plan: take them down, hold him there, [smash]. I am terrible fight for everybody,” Makhachev added. “Everybody knows this.”
What do you think about Islam Makhachev’s comments? Do you think he’ll defeat Charles Oliveira? Sound off in the comment section below!