Home Islam Charles Oliveira knocks out doubters against Islam Makhachev at UFC 280: ‘I’ve fought tougher people’

Charles Oliveira knocks out doubters against Islam Makhachev at UFC 280: ‘I’ve fought tougher people’

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Charles Oliveira remains focused on the task at hand.

At UFC 280, Oliveira will face Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title he was forced to relinquish after losing weight to Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. It’s a fight that was rumored for some time but who was not Oliveira’s first choice. After beating Gaethje, “Do Bronx” said Makhachev needed another win before a title challenge, and instead called for a fight against Conor McGregor. That obviously wasn’t the case, and with an opponent now locked in, Oliveira is putting all his energy into reclaiming his title.

“He’s falling on a wave, and that’s what he’s supposed to do,” Oliveira said of Makhachev at the UFC 280 press conference. “But if you’ve seen my record, I’ve fought tougher people, and I’m here to prove I will do it again.

“I am here to fight. That’s what I’ll do, and you’ll know who’s the champion once again.

The fight is sure to be one of the most anticipated of the year – the uncrowned champion against the man many believe will become the new lightweight standard bearer. It also seems to be a delight for grapplers, as Makhachev is the No. 1 ground-and-pound specialist in the lightweight division, while Oliveira has the most submissions in UFC history. Oliveira has previously said he has no problem going to the ground with Makhachev, and “Do Bronx” remains convinced that he is the best fighter in this position.

“The field is his territory, so he will definitely try to do it, but if he does, will he want to make and bring down the best bidder in UFC history? I’m not sure,” Oliveira said. “The name of the champion is well known, and his name is Charles Oliveira.

“We’ve seen that he’s the type of guy who tries to take the fight to the ground, but that doesn’t bother me at all. So I’m ready for whatever it brings.

If Oliveira defeats Makhachev and reclaims the title, a world of opportunity will open up for him, including the possibility of a defining fight against lightweight GOAT Khabib Nurmagomedov. Some have suggested that if Oliveira defeats Makhachev – Nurmagomedov’s friend and anointed successor – it could be the catalyst to persuade ‘The Eagle’ to come out of retirement for one last fight. And while the proposal of that might be enticing to fans, for Oliveira it’s merely a distraction from the task at hand.

“That’s a question you have to put to him,” Oliveira said when asked if Khabib could return to fight him. “He retired, for good reason. My focus is on fighting in October and then returning to Brazil to fight in January.

“We have to respect the opinions, the decisions of the people. Of course, I respect what he has done over the years. If he chooses to fight me, I’m there.

Nurmagomedov’s fight isn’t the only one that could be stalking Oliveira, however. A win could set up “Do Bronx” for the lucrative Conor McGregor fight he was aiming for.

“I have no particular affection for [McGregor]said Oliveira when asked about him. “It’s business and if he makes money, great. He’s a bit heavier. I could meet him there if needed. I think McGregor just wants to enjoy life. My goal now is Islam and what comes next.

Of course, there’s also another possible opponent for Oliveira, should he beat Makhachev at UFC 280: featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, who campaigned for a shot at the 155-pound belt, and even suggested that they could fight for the supposed return of the UFC. in Australia next year.

It doesn’t quite fit with what Oliveira has planned, which is to beat Makhachev this fall and then defend his title on home soil next year, something he’s never done before.

“No baby. My focus now is on October and Islam,” Oliveira said. fighting in Brazil for a long time. I believe that after defeating Islam, maybe I could bring the fight to Brazil.

UFC 280 takes place on October 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.