“Like Tony Ferguson Versus Khabib”- Khabib Nurmagomedov Says Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev Is a Beautiful Matchup

Published 12/16/2021, 11:05 AM EST


After the thrilling win in his first title defense at the main event of UFC 269, many fighters have called Charles Oliveira out. Some of them include Justin Gaethje and even the ‘Notorious’ Conor McGregor. Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov however feels differently.

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‘The Eagle’ believes that his protege Islam Makhachev is better suited as an opponent for the lightweight champion. Khabib Nurmagomedov has long been vouching for Islam Makhachev to get a title shot. Notably, Makhachev is Nurmagomedov’s close friend and is his student since childhood. Not to mention, ‘The Eagle’ cites Makhachev’s 9 fight-win-streak as the prime reason for him to get a title shot in the UFC.

Islam Makhachev as Oliveira’s opponent

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In a recent interview with ESPN, the fighter-turned promoter mentioned that whilst ‘Do Bronx’ will take on Gaethje before anyone else. It’ll make for a really interesting fight if they manage to put Makhachev and Oliveira in the octagon for a title bout.

He stated, “He impressed me and I really believe he is one of the best fighter in the world right now. Like, best lightweight in the world and it’s gonna be very interesting fight if next fight Islam win and Charles win and they are gonna fight end of the next year. It’s gonna be a great fight. It’s gonna be like, little bit like Tony Ferguson versus Khabib, you know. Islam versus Charles Oliveira, they both win, you know.Right now we have 10 win streak. If Islam win next fight, Islam gonna have 10 win streak and 11 win streak Charles Oliveira. It’s like, it’s gonna be great, great fight for both of them and UFC, for sure. I really want, they both win and they both fight, end of the next year.”

Currently, Islam Makhachev is coming off a splendid win against Dan Hooker in the lightweight division. However, realistically, Makhachev has a long way to go for a title. The Russian is ranked #4 on the lightweight charts, and needs to overcome adversity in the form of Beneil Dariush. Interestingly, Dariush is ranked higher than Makhachev at #3 on the roster. And will prove to be a big challenge for Makhachev in February next year.

Khabib Nurmagomedov has a date for Oliveira versus Makhachev

The UFC may not have set up a bout between current lightweight champ Oliveira and Islam Makhachev, but Khabib Nurmagomedov has affirmed himself on a date for the match. Not to mention, a venue as well.

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The Russian believes when everything goes according to his plan. The match will most likely take place in Abu Dhabi next year. In an interview with ESPN, the owner of the Eagle Fighting Championship revealed that he has heard this from the UFC president himself.

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – APRIL 18: Islam Makhachev of Russia interacts with the media during the UFC Fight Night Ultimate Media Day at Hotel Astoria on April 18, 2019 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“They gave Islam end of the February. Islam gonna fight for the no.1 contender fight versus Beneil Dariush. Main event in UFC vegas. It’s like Charles gonna fight vs Justin, maybe April, something like this. Winner vs Winner they are gonna fight end of the year, maybe in Abu Dhabi… is the plan. This is what Dana say, this is what Ali told me. This is a UFC plan.” He claimed in the interview.

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Would you like to see Islam Makhachev take on Charles Oliveira? Tell us in the comments below.

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Aashish Kumar

218 articles

Aashish Kumar is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism & Mass Communication, this Israel Adesanya fan has interned at reputed media houses and gained valuable reporting experience. Building on that experience, Aashish will look to tap into his love for combat sports and let fans benefit from his passion and journalistic expertise.

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