Former American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) jiu-jitsu coach Leandro Viera believes Charles Oliveira could be the man to lure Khabib Nurmagomedov out of retirement for his 30th fight.
Nurmagomedov retired in 2020 following his submission win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. The recently-inducted UFC Hall of Famer now serves as a coach for fighters such as Umar Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev, both of whom compete in the UFC.
If Oliveira beats the latter, Viera claims Khabib would have no choice but to come out of retirement and avenge his friend.
“Definitely. If Charles beats Makhachev, I truly believe that Khabib would return to avenge him,” the jiu-jitsu instructor told Sherdog in a recent interview.
Oliveira and Makhachev are expected to collide for the vacant lightweight championship at a TBA UFC event later this year. Oliveira was stripped of the title after missing weight ahead of his lightweight matchup with Gaethje at UFC 274. ‘Do Bronx’ won the fight via submission, finishing ‘The Highlight’ with a rear-naked choke in the first round.
Since the fight, Olivera has come under fire from Khabib and Makhachev in the media, and the Brazilian has grown tired of their trash talk. He wants to take on Makhachev and Khabib in back-to-back fights, with the 32-year-old recently agreeing to a showdown with the former in Brazil.
Oliveira is currently #1 in the UFC lightweight rankings while Makhachev sits at #4.