It is safe to say that Charles Oliveira has been pretty much the name on every MMA fan’s list whenever there is a conversation of a fighter who has been entertaining and fun to watch. There is no doubt about the heart and desire shown by the Brazilian every time he stepped up inside the octagon. He has the ability to light up the arena by his scintillating performances and lethal finishes. The former lightweight champ is once again fired up for his upcoming bout in Abu Dhabi and we discuss the reasons for his recent anger towards Khabib and his team.
Oliveira is seemingly on his way to becoming a top draw in the UFC as he promises fireworks in every bout he is a part of. However during the recent weeks the former lightweight champion has been feeling quite agitated as many experts have doubted that he was ducking Islam Makhachev for his next fight. This could also be due to the fact that Oliveira has been quite vocal in his wish to face Conor McGregor in his next fight as he made himself clear that he wants to achieve financial stability for his family.
The rumors of Oliveira fighting McGregor were finally put to bed as during the UFC Long Island event it was revealed that Islam Makhachev will be the next opponent in line to face Oliveira at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi. The favella born fighter also added another award to his mantle as he was announced as the winner of the ESPY for Fighter of the Year 2021 during the broadcast of UFC Long Island. Some of his performances included knocking Michael Chandler at UFC 262, choking out Dustin Poirier at UFC 269 and finally the recent win against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274
In spite of the victory against Justin Gaethje he lost his lightweight title in a controversial manner at the weighing scales. He failed to make championship weight after two attempts and the UFC decided to vacate the lightweight belt. There have been a lot of theories as to how the weigh in system should be updated to the digital scales instead of the manual ones.
On the other side, the UFC Lightweight goat Khabib has been chomping at the bit to see his childhood friend become the new lightweight champion of the world. Khabib has been speaking quite a lot against Oliveira and his decisions to quit between fights back in the day. He believes that Islam’s wrestling would prove too much for Oliveira. Islam has been on a 10 fight win streak as well, fighting the likes of Bobby Green and Dan Hooker in his last two fights. Many fans believe his relations with Khabib has gifted him a title fight because Islam has not beaten a tough contender in the division. His fight against Beneil Dariush was canceled as Dariush had to miss out due to an injury so Bobby Green filled up the vacant spot.
The comments from Khabib did not go down well with Oliveira as he has fired an open warning to his rival that he is willing to start the fight against Islam on the ground. There is absolutely no questions about the fact that Islam and his coaching team will be trying to set up a trap which will mainly involve wrestling with the Brazilian. But Oliveira has insisted that he is the best submitter in the UFC so Islam might have to watch out on those nasty armbars and guillotine chokes.
The fans are in for a treat at UFC 280 as this is the fight everyone wanted to see. The hype around Islam would be huge as the fight is in his territory where Khabib has also fought the last two of his fights. As for Oliveira, he will be entering the uncharted territory when he travels to Abu Dhabi and see the locals supporting Islam. This matchup will be a classic striker versus grappler competition. Islam has never faced a striker who packs power in every punch he lands as it was evident against Justin Gaethje when Oliveira dropped him. There are more ways for Oliveira to win this bout as compared to Islam who might just only stick to his wrestling acumen.
It will be interesting to see if Khabib’s prediction of Islam ragdolling Oliveira and submitting him comes true. We can hardly wait for this UFC Lightweight title fight as Oliveira has insisted that he might call out Khabib after he defeats Islam. If that happens, it will be one of the most iconic call outs in UFC history. Let us know your views if you think that Oliveira can cope with the wrestling skills of Islam and become a two time UFC Lightweight Champion of the world.