Khabib Nurmagomedov was glad to see Charles Oliveira become the new UFC lightweight champion.
In the main event of UFC 262, Oliveira scored a second-round TKO over Michael Chandler to become the new lightweight champ. They were fighting for the vacant title after Nurmagomedov vacated the belt and for “The Eagle” he says he’s glad the Brazilian claimed the belt.
“He deserves to be a lightweight champion,” Khabib told RT Sport and other reporters. “What does he have, eight wins in a row? And seven of those eight were finishes. Only the Ferguson fight went to decision. I think he deserves the belt – so many finishes and UFC records. It’d be sad if Chandler won, if he became champion after two UFC fights. It wouldn’t be right. Oliveira improved a lot, and he deserves to be champion. I’m really happy for him because when anyone reaches success you have to respect that. I think he deserves to be champion”
Although Khabib Nurmagomedov believes Oliveira deserves to be champion, he doesn’t think the Brazilian will hold the belt for long. Instead, Nurmagomedov thinks Dustin Poirier will become the new champ. However, once Islam Makhachev gets a title shot, he will become the champ and hold the belt for a long time.
“I don’t think he’ll be champion when Islam (Makhachev) rises to that level,” Nurmagomedov said of Oliveira. “It’s important that Oliveira doesn’t misinterpret my words. I respect him. I just think when Islam goes up the rankings after a year there will be another champion. I think it will be Dustin Poirier.”
As of right now, Oliveira will likely defend his belt for the first time against the winner of Poirier vs. Conor McGregor 3 on July 10. The fight will likely take place later this year and would be a very intriguing bout.