Dominick Cruz picks Islam Makhachev to beat Charles Oliveira

Dominick Cruz was one of the best competitors in the UFC for quite a few years before suffering through several career altering injuries. Many questioned if he would ever return. But he returned – and was stopped by TJ Dillashaw, Henry Cejudo and recently, Marlon Vera.

Still Cruz has plenty to offer both as an athlete and as an MMA analyst. Cruz shared an interesting opinion recently.

With the lines drawn between Makhachev and Oliveira camps it’s become clear that majority of Brazilian athletes give Oliveira the edge, while everyone close to Khabib camp believes Makhachev will get the job done however it’s always interesting to see someone who has no horse in this race weigh in.

“That matchup wise? I love it. I mean, this is a this is a matchup for the fans because not a lot of people have been able to keep Makhachev off the top of them. He’s been able to take them down and just keep them there like a blanket, like a heavy weighted blanket. When it comes to Oliveira, that’s not going to really be able to do that.”

“He might be able to keep them there, but he’s going to be on defense the whole time. So I think that we’re going to see a lot of mixture. We’re going to see a mixed martial arts fight, not when you’re going to see groundwork and stand up equally. And I think that what I really like about it is you’re going to see somebody test the standup of Makhachev.”

“If I’m going to favor somebody, I would probably have to go with Makhachev on that one just because I think that he’s got the best option to also win a decision. And the reason I say that is if they’re fighting on the feet and then Makhachev gets a takedown, he can ride him out.”

“If he can stay out of the submission threats of Oliveira, he can still win a decision by riding the top, staying safe, ground and pound.” Cruz told Helen Yee.


Meanwhile Gilbert Burns shared his confidence in Oliveira despite being managed by Ali Abdelaziz (who also manages Makhachev):

“Islam is a high-level grappler as well,” Burns said. “I heard from Luke Rockhold and a few other guys as well that he’s pretty good. I’m still going to put all my money on Oliveira. I think Oliveira got it.”