Valentina Shevchenko is excited about the upcoming fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev, but she can’t understand why ‘Do Bronx’ is the underdog.
The UFC women’s flyweight champion pointed out that Oliveira has fought ‘more top-ranked opponents’ than Makhachev but understands that the latter might be Oliveira’s most dangerous opponent to date.
Oliveira has beaten the likes of Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje while Makhachev’s highest-profile win was a 2021 submission victory over Dan Hooker.
Shevchenko thinks fans will be treated to a ‘super crazy’ fight on October 22 and can’t wait to see who emerges as the new lightweight champion after Oliveira was stripped of the title after missing weight ahead of UFC 274.
“Actually, yes because Charles Oliveira, he fought more top-ranked opponents than Islam,” Shevchenko told Low Kick MMA’s James Lynch when asked if she was surprised about Oliveira being the underdog to Makhachev. “Actually yeah he fought all top fighters in the weight division, he beat them all and actually showed that ‘yes, I belong here and this is why I hold the belt.’
“Islam, he never had an opportunity to fight someone who’s more ranked than him, in the top five and this makes it harder to understand how the betting is going, who’s creating these odds but whatever let’s enjoy the fight.”
“It’s going to be a very good fight,” she said earlier in the interview. “I heard it’s going to be in Abu Dhabi. I think it’s going to be good and great. Oliveira, he’s so dangerous but he’s fighting like a crazy one. He’s explosive and he can beat but he can receive as well, it’s going to be cool. Islam is more calm, more controlled, more looking for his moment. When he has to wrestle, he’ll wrestle. When he has to strike, he will strike so yeah I think it’s going to be super crazy and great fight.”
UFC 280: Oliveira vs. Makhachev takes place on October 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.