UFC star Islam Makhachev has confirmed that he’d be interested in fighting Charles Oliveira in his home country of Brazil.
While some fans and pundits may disagree, it certainly seems as if Islam Makhachev is the clear choice when it comes to deciding who will face Charles Oliveira for the UFC lightweight championship. ‘Do Bronx’ isn’t the current champion after being stripped of the belt for missing weight, but his emphatic win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 highlighted just how far ahead of his peers he seems to be.
The number one contender is waiting for the UFC to give him a call and let him know when he’ll be competing for the title, with some believing it could take place later this year when the UFC returns to Abu Dhabi.
If that happens, the smart money would be on Makhachev being the man standing opposite him – although it’s worth noting that UFC president Dana White wants to see him get past Beneil Dariush before then.
Ever since UFC 274 we’ve seen Makhachev go hard in the paint on social media in an attempt to get Oliveira riled up. Now, in response to a fan of the former champion, Islam has outright said he’d be willing to step into the 32-year-old’s home country for a fight.
“We can fight in the middle of Paraiba bro, just make sure your boy Charles shows up”
Has Makhachev earned his shot?
With a 10-fight win streak and a 22-1 pro mixed martial arts record to his name, you certainly can’t say that Makhachev hasn’t put in some real graft in order to get to where he is. However, in equal measure, we can also understand the logic behind someone saying he hasn’t faced many top tier lightweights yet.
He did manage to dispatch Dan Hooker pretty efficiently last year but he did so on short notice, with his follow-up fight coming against Bobby Green, which felt like a step down.
If he could secure a bout with Rafael dos Anjos or Beneil Dariush and get the win, White simply wouldn’t be able to deny him any longer.