Khabib Nurmagomedov is expecting Islam Makhachev to beat Charles Oliveira with ease in the main event of UFC 280 for the vacant lightweight title.
Makhachev is the main protege of Nurmagomedov, and ‘The Eagle’ has said he would be the champ once he is done. Makhachev will finally get his crack at the belt on October 22 as he faces Oliveira in an intriguing matchup. It’s a tough matchup but the oddsmakers have Makhachev as the betting favorite and Nurmagomedov expects Makhachev to win with ease.
Khabib Nurmagomedov on his protege
“I think Islam is more skilled than Oliveira,” Nurmagomedov said in an interview with UFC Russia (h/t MMA Junkie). “Secondly, his experience as an amateur fighter. Also, he’s at his peak. Islam is at his peak. Islam isn’t 23, 26 or 27. He’s 30. A week after the fight, he’ll be 31. It’s the best time for any athlete. It’s a time when your mental and physical state should be in synergy. Sometimes your mental state is high, but your physical state is going down. Or when you’re 27 and at your physical peak, but mentally you’re not there yet, because you’re just 27, not 31. And Islam is at his peak. I think Islam is better overall. Of course, there are some potential dangers that we’re working on where Islam needs to be careful. Other than that, Islam should roll over him.”
Although Khabib Nurmagomedov expects Islam Makhachev to roll over Charles Oliveira, he is making it known that Makhachev is not overlooking Oliveira. Instead, he knows how good ‘Do Bronx’ is but they just believe Makhachev is something special and that much better.
“Islam will be fighting the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter for the UFC title,” Nurmagomedov said. “That’s his life goal. Only a dumb person can think about what’s next. Islam has a target, a date, an opponent, and a location… there’s no reason to get distracted. UFC 280 takes place Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.”
Is Khabib Nurmagomedov right about Islam Makhachev? Islam Makhachev is definitely confident of victory.