UFC 280 will take place on October 22nd inside the Etihad Arena in the UAE. As the event is inching closer, fighters are doing more and more interviews to promote the card. Recently, the no. 1 title contender Charles Oliveira, sat down with ESPN journalist Brett Okamoto for an elaborative interview. Naturally, the conversation shifted towards him fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Charles Oliveira, who lost the belt for missing weight at UFC 274, will get the chance to get it back at the upcoming PPV. He will be going up against Islam Makhachev, who is ranked 4th in the division. With both competitors having a great ground game, the fight promises to be one of the most intriguing in recent memory.
Islam’s cousin Khabib Nurmagomedov went as far as to call it a ‘dream fight.’ The Eagle will have a big presence during the fight week. The former unbeaten lightweight champ is basically running Islam’s fight camp. Hence, Okamoto asked Charles during their interview, if Oliveira felt like he was going up against both Islam and Khabib at the same time.
“Well, my fight is against Islam and whenever he (Khabib) is willing to get back and get on with it, I’ll be always ready.”
When Do Bronx hinted towards the possibility of Khabib coming back, Okamoto reminded him of Khabib’s previous comments. Nurmagomedov has repeated time and time again that he will not return to fighting ever again. UFC President Dana White wanted to entice Khabib out of retirement for a grappling match. Khabib even denied doing that and Oliveria respects it!
“Yeah, honestly I don’t think he’s gonna be fighting again. Khabib is set, he’s ready, he’s retired and it’s done. And I fully respect that decision.”
Charles Oliveira thinks Islam Makhachev is living under Khabib’s shadow
Charles Oliveira did not shy away from speaking up about the bond between Khabib and Islam. Following Nurmagomedov’s retirement, Makhachev has been the one who is expected to continue Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov‘s legacy in the UFC. Trying to live upto Khabib’s greatness is a tall task and it may be a burden.
“Well, he is a protege of Khabib and he bears that weight on his shoulders. I didn’t choose fights, I just got on with them and this is what we’re gonna do. It’s a different story, it’s a different card.”
Although he has come a long way in his career, there are still fans who think Makhachev will steamroll him. As a matter of fact, the 32-year-old is also the underdog heading into the fight. Hence, Charles wants to show his prowess to the masses and prove his greatness once and for all. He stated that he will shock the world with his performance against Makhachev.
“Well, opinions are subjective and some people believe that I would be a potential winner, he would be a potential winner. But I’m gonna show that my historic, my background and the number of fights I’ve had, my contenders, this will come to show on that very Night and in this sense, I’ll shock the world. Because people will change their opinion about this.”
What do you make of Charles Oliveira’s recent comments? Do you think he is under pressure to prove his critics wrong? Or, do you think he is confident about beating Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 and backing up his words? Let us know in the comments down below.