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As Khabib Nurmagomedov Leaves Islam Makhachev’s Side, Russia vs Brazil Debate Ignited by UFC Legend

Published 09/25/2023, 1:23 PM EDT

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Charles Oliveira is a perennial underdog. When Oliveira was diagnosed with a heart murmur and rheumatic fever at the age of seven, doctors warned him he would never be able to play sports. But he began training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 12. He won the Sao Paulo championship two months later.

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His streak of prevailing despite the odds being against him continued into his UFC career and saw him become the lightweight champion in the division. That was until he lost his crown to Islam Makhachev at UFC 280. And ahead of their rematch, fellow Dagestani Khabib Nurmagomedov has also jumped into their rivalry.

Khabib Nurmagomedov reignites special debate ahead of rematch against Charles Oliveira


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On his Instagram story, former UFC lightweight champion and Islam Makhachev’s former teammate Khabib Nurmagomedov shared the reigning lightweight champion’s post. In it, Makhachev is seen facing Charles Oliveira, shaking hands.

In one half of the picture, Makhachev is on it is backgrounded by mountains, while Oliveira’s half has forests. “Dagestan Mountains vs Brazilian Jungles #part2 #ufcabudhabi,” he captioned the post, showcasing the polarity of the two men.


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While Khabib Nurmagomedov continues to maintain his distance from the sport, he didn’t falter from showing his support for his teammate, Makhachev.

The former UFC champion was very particular about cornering his teammates and being a part of their training. However, earlier this year, he shared his decision to stay away from the sport and spend more time with his family. So fans won’t see him cornering Makhachev at UFC 294.

Charles Oliveira to rematch Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 for the title


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Their first fight was an underwhelming affair. Then Champion Oliveira underperformed and lost the fight in the second round. Makhachev, known for his stellar wrestling that he learned from Khabib’s father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, took the Brazilian down in the first round and took the top for most of the round. ‘Do Bronx’ came out in the second with some strong striking, which Makhachev dealt with before flooring the champion and jumping on him to finish the job with an arm-triangle choke.

The BJJ black belt was very unhappy with his performance. “I didn’t watch it, it wasn’t me, I wasn’t there. This is a different Charles. This is a Charles that’s thirsty. The Charles that you’re gonna see is the Charles that you know that’s thirsty for victory, that’s hungry, someone who’s back at it, and a lion that’s always hunting. That’s the Charles that you’re going to see,” ‘Do Bronx’ told reporters after the fight.


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Well, Oliveira has a chance to prove this at UFC 294 on October 21 in the UAE. His fans will be hoping that he will have a better show this time around. But, many fans are also waiting for the rematch between Makhachev and Alexander Volkanovski. If the Dagestani loses against Oliveira, the hype behind Makhachev versus Volkanovski might dampen. What do you think?

Watch This Story–Wild Theories on Khabib’s Retirement Involving Dana White

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Written by:

Kanishk Thakur


One take at a time

Kanishk Thakur is an MMA writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in political science from Delhi University, his love for writing and MMA made him want to be part of telling the story of the sport. His journalist mother and love for philosophy and research inculcated a staunch rationalism in him, and the need to substantiate every statement he makes with good evidence.
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Edited by:

Arijit Saha