Prior to the impending lightweight championship fight at UFC 280 on Saturday, Charles Oliveira has been recognized as the 155-pound champion by Islam Makhachev's manager Ali Abdelaziz.
The Dominance MMA manager provided his thoughts on the much anticipated title contest in an interview with Canal Encarada. Despite having had his title stripped before his most recent bout, Abdelaziz claimed that Makhachev would compete for the championship in Abu Dhabi as a challenger.
"Charles Oliveira is the UFC lightweight champion. We are the contender, we just go there to try to challenge the champion to take something very very heavy from him."
Oliveira has recently had an amazing streak. With 11 victories under his belt, the Brazilian is outstanding. But he vacated the belt after failing to make weight for his UFC 274 match against Justin Gaethje. Although he is no longer the official champion of the lightweight division, many in the MMA world still view him as such.
Oliveira's title fight against Makhachev at UFC 280 will earn him pay-per-view points, as UFC president Dana White also declared earlier this year.
Despite having a UFC record for most finishes and submissions, Oliveira is the underdog in the odds for his forthcoming championship match. The odds have probably been impacted by Makhachev's apparent invincibility, which is similar to that of his teammate-turned-coach Khabib Nurmagomedov before his retirement.
Although Oliveira and Makhachev are both without a doubt the top lightweights on the UFC roster, they differ from one another in terms of the calibre of opponents they have faced.
Makhachev recently defeated Bobby Green and Dan Hooker. Former interim champions Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier, as well as former Bellator titleholder Michael Chandler, were all defeated by Oliveira in his most recent three contests.