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‘Charles doesn’t want it’ - Oliveira’s coach dismisses Islam Makhachev bout in Abu Dhabi

Former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira wishes to fight Islam Makhachev in neutral territory.

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It seems we might not see Charles Oliveira fighting Islam Makhachev any time soon. While the former lightweight champion’s team negotiates that the potential bout for the vacant belt takes place in neutral territory, the Brazilian’s head coach, Diego Lima, worries about biased judging if the UFC decides to have the fight in the United Arab Emirates.

In a conversation with Ag Fight, Lima explained that Makhachev’s team wanted the bout to take place in Abu Dhabi in October, which goes against Oliveira’s modus operandi. Not only would that be to soon for Charles to return, Diego also believes it would be an unfair advantage for Islam to have.

“Why do it in Makhachev’s turf? Look at what Charles has done. Look at his track record. Why not let Charles fight wherever he wants? Why not give us the chance to fight in Brazil? ‘Oh but it has to be somewhere neutral’. Fine, let’s do it in New York. If this was McGregor, we’d fight him in Ireland, because McGregor also made history.”

Now, why would we want to go to Abu Dhabi in October?” Lima said. “That’s much sooner than when we’re used to fighting. That’s a different timing. It’s not Charles’s timing. Charles doesn’t want it (to fight in Abu Dhabi). As his head coach, I fully support his decision and agree with him.”

To drive his point home even further, Lima used the example of another fighter who performed against a member of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s team in Abu Dhabi: Allan Nascimento. In Diego’s opinion, the Brazilian should have gotten the nod from the judges when he faced Tagir Ulanbekov there, back in October 2021.

“When Allan Nascimento made his UFC debut, against Khabib’s cousin, whose name I forget (Tagir Ulanbekov). Cousin, friend, I don’t know. That was in Abu Dhabi. The guy did nothing. He was on top of Allan and Allan was attacking him from the bottom all the time. He tried five different submissions. He was striking him from the top and from the bottom. He destroyed that guy’s calves.”

Tagir did nothing but stall the fight.” Lima continued. “People in the company, fans, commentators, they all thought that Allan had won. I think Allan won. Had it been in any other country in the world, he would’ve won. Just like Charles would’ve made weight for any other Athletic Commission.

In his last outing, Oliveira (33-8-1 NC) submitted Justin Gaehtje, back in May. However, due to a weight miss, ‘Do Bronx’ was not elligible to keep his title following the fight. Nonetheless, the victory put the 32-year-old on an 11-fight win streak, with 10 finishes. During this time, Charles defeated some of the division’s most notables names in Michael Chandler, Tony Ferguson and Dustin Poirier, among others.