On October 22 at UFC 280, Charles Oliveira will travel to Abu Dhabi to defend his lightweight crown against challenger Islam Makhachev. While Oliveira may not officially be recognised as the champion, the majority of fans and pundits believe the Brazilian is the rightful holder of the title – despite losing it on the scales in the lead-up to his UFC 274 meeting with Justin Gaethje.
‘Do Bronx’ has fought long and hard to get to the top of the mountain and given how many obstacles he’s had to overcome, you’d have to imagine he won’t be going down without a fight.
During a recent interview with MMA Fighting, a fired up Oliveira made it clear to Makhachev that he’s ready for the fight to take place just about anywhere.
“I’m going to his home, where they wanted the fight, where they think they will beat me,” Oliveira said. “I know I’m the biggest problem of this division. No one’s dumb, right? Every guy Islam fought was a striker and he took them down, and I went toe to toe with every guy I fought and only took them down to make things happen after I hurt them on the feet. Islam is fighting the worst problem of the division, Charles Oliveira.
“Want to start the fight on the ground? I’ll start playing guard. It won’t make any difference to me. Again, I’m telling everyone this, I’m the division’s biggest problem and you’re not understanding. I don’t care who it is and when it is. If you want to trade on the feet, come for it, I have firepower in my hands. If you want to take me down, do it.”
The Khabib factor
Even though Khabib Nurmagomedov has been retired for almost two years, there’s a popular opinion out there in the MMA world that a dominant win for Charles against Khabib’s friend Islam could coax ‘The Eagle’ out of retirement.
Either way, though, we’re in for one hell of a collision on Fight Island.