If Charles Oliveira doesn’t want to fight in Abu Dhabi, Islam Makhachev is willing to travel to Brazil and beat ‘Do Bronx’ in his home country.
That’s according to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev’s longtime friend, coach, and mentor, who told Ag.Fight that the No. 4-ranked lightweight contender would love to fight Oliveira in Brazil and ‘finish him with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’.
“This is not Islam or Khabib’s organization, this is UFC [and] they have owners. They make these decisions,” Khabib said (h/t MMA Fighting). “Ok, if they say Brazil, we’ll love this. Come to Brazil, fight with Brazilian champion and finish him with Brazilian jiu-jitsu style. I love this. What you think about this? It’s gonna be hard? I really believe Islam can finish him on the ground. I really believe this. Now you guys gonna judge me because Islam, but who cares? Who cares? If they say Brazil, OK, let’s go Brazil. Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo.”
“I fight one time in Sao Paulo, Thiago Tavares. It was very short fight, one and a half minute, boom. Before fight everybody said I was gonna die. After fight, everybody take picture with me. It’s gonna be same thing with Islam and Charles Oliveira.”
Oliveira was stripped of the lightweight title after missing weight before his first-round stoppage victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 274, but many fans feel the 32-year-old ‘got screwed’ by the athletic commission and should be reinstated as champion.
His coach, Diego Lima, says Oliveira doesn’t want to fight Makhachev in Abu Dhabi, but Oliveira would prefer to avoid the matchup entirely. The former UFC lightweight champ is more interested in a ‘money fight’ with Conor McGregor and believes a win over ‘The Notorious’ would be better for his legacy.
Oliveira’s next fight, whether it’s against Makhachev or McGregor, will be for the vacant UFC lightweight championship.