With each passing fight Charles Oliveira is pushing his agenda forward as the best lightweight on the planet. When he beat Justin Gaetjhe at UFC 274 the Brazilian broke his own records for most finishes and submissions in UFC history and advanced himself to fifth place on the all-time wins list in the promotion.
With Oliveira racking up achievements in the Octagon, he continues his march towards supplanting Khabib Nurmagomedov’s place on the list of best UFC lightweights ever. However, despite what the Brazilian is doing in the cage right now, fellow top contender Islam Makhachev thinks ‘Do Bronx’ wouldn’t stand a chance against ‘The Eagle’.
“How you’re gonna beat him? Like he’s gonna give him submission or what?” Makhachev said (ht MMA Junkie). “This is like easy fight for Khabib because Khabib has the most dominant grappling on top. He’s gonna take him down and hold him there very easy. I think honestly this is a very easy fight for Khabib because stylistically, all his pressure is not gonna work against Khabib because Khabib pressures all his opponents, makes them tired, hold them there.”
Makhachev is far from an objective participant in this debate. The Dagestani is a close friend and training partner of Nurmagomedov. Since Nurmagomedov retired from competition in 2020, the former lightweight champion has promoted Makhachev as a future champ.
Nurmagomedov has also cornered his friend during Makhachev’s impressive recent run in the Octagon. Makhachev is on a 10-fight winning streak. Last year he scored submission victories over Drew Dober, Thiago Moises and Dan Hooker. In his last fight he stopped Bobby Green by TKO.
Those wins have put Makhachev into the title picture, alongside Oliveira.
“But we don’t have to say Khabib’s gonna beat Charles,” said Makhachev. “I’m gonna beat Charles, and everybody is gonna understand.”
Oliveira lost his UFC lightweight title on the scales before UFC 274. After his win over Gaethje, UFC President Dana White announced that Oliveira will now fight for the vacant title against an opponent to be determined.
Nurmagomedov has been angling for Makhachev to take that slot. However, Oliveira would like to see Makhachev and Beneil Dariush fight for the honour.