Charles Oliveira doesn’t think Islam Makhachev deserves to be fighting for the lightweight title.
Oliveira and Makhachev are set to headline UFC 280 on Saturday from Abu Dhabi for the vacant lightweight title. It’s an intriguing matchup but Makhachev enters the fight not having beaten anyone currently ranked in the top 10 or top-five of the division, which is rare.
With that, Oliveira believes Makhachev got the title shot due to his relationship with Khabib Nurmagomedov. He also points to himself and who he had to fight to get a title shot compared to Makhachev.
“I think we have to respect my opponent. Islam is coming with a 10-fight win streak. He is very smart with his game. However, I think he’s been surfing a wave that is not his, but Khabib’s. That’s the truth,” Oliveira said on UFC Embedded. “This match is happening because Khabib made it happen. Not by Islam’s own merit. Because in my opinion, he should be fighting against a top-five contender. Who’s the (top) ranked opponent that Islam fought? No one. On the other hand, my 11 victories were against 11 good fighters, complete MMA fighters. I fought all the top five. Standing or on the ground, I knocked them out, submitted them of the 11 victories only one was by decision.”
Although Charles Oliveira doesn’t think Islam Makhachev deserves the title fight, the Dagestani native is getting it, and ‘Do Bronx’ will need to beat him to reclaim his lightweight belt.
Oliveira enters the fight against Makhachev coming off a submission win over Justin Gaethje. Prior to that, he submitted Dustin Poirier to defend his belt for the first time after winning the vacant strap by KO against Michael Chandler. The Brazilian also holds notable wins over Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee, and Jim Miller among others.
Do you agree with Charles Oliveira that Islam Makhachev got the fight due to his relationship with Khabib Nurmagomedov?