Islam Makhachev believes he will finish Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 to become the new lightweight champion.
Makhachev and Charles Oliveira are set to headline the pay-per-view card from Abu Dhabi on October 22 in a fascinating lightweight bout. Both men have been on incredible winning streaks but Makhachev not only thinks he can beat Oliveira but he believes he will finish the Brazilian due to him not being scared to go to the ground with him.
Islam Makhachev on his opponent
“His last three or four opponents, they knock him down and nobody goes to grappling,” Makhachev said in an interview with The National. “Nobody tried to finish him there. Nobody tried to do some ground-and-pound. That’s why nobody from these opponents could stop him. But I’m not scared of his jiu-jitsu skills because I have good skills in Sambo and grappling and will give him a hard time in striking. That’s why I’m going to knock him down and try to finish him. Because this guy has the most finishes in the UFC, my goal is I have to finish him. I’m going to take his record.”
Part of the reason why Islam Makhachev is so confident he will finish Charles Oliveira as he doesn’t think the Brazilian is the toughest test of his career.
“Charles is very dangerous,” Makhachev said. “He always finishes his opponent, and he’s dangerous in the striking and on the ground. But I believe in my skills. I’m ready for the fight standing up or on the ground – it doesn’t matter. I don’t think this is the biggest test (of my career). Maybe I’ve beat some guy who has more skills. But right now, he’s the champion. And, right now, at this moment in his career, because he has a good win streak – he had many losses before and he finished all his opponents – he feels like nobody can stop him. But on Oct. 22, I’m going to come to the cage and stop him there.”
How do you see the main event at UFC 280 going? Will Islam Makhachev finish Charles Oliveira, or will Charles remain the king of the lightweight division?