Islam Makhachev is set to have a bout against Chris “do Bronx” Oliveira on October 22 in Abu Dhabi at UFC 280. The clash between the two Lightweights is anticipated to be one of the bigger UFC events this year.
Islam Makhachev (30) hails from Dagestan and has a current record of 22 wins and 1 loss and will face the (stripped) Lightweight champion Charles Oliveira (33-8).
Oliveira is a jiu-jitsu ace, while Makhachev is an elite level sambo practitioner who was trained by the legendary coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.
While many believe sambo is jiu-jitsu’s kryptonite the truth is that Makhachev had gone up against a world class jiu jitsu guy in Davi Ramos (ADCC winner) and the contest was lukewarm kickboxing exchange which Makhachev barely edged out all while avoiding the ground.
This time Makhachev is determined to not avoid the ground exchange – or so he claimed in a conversation with DC.
In terms of experience and level of competition, Oliveira has a significant advantage compared to the Russian, Makhachev has only went up against one top 15 ranked opponent, Dan Hooker, who is currently on a losing skid.
On the other hand, Oliveira has faced only the best of the best in the division in his last 4.
In a recent interview with former UFC champion Daniel Cormier and former Super Bowl champion Ryan Clark, Makhachev said he would “take down” Oliveira “very fast.”
This clash has two passionate fanbases clashing – on one hand Charles Oliveira is UFC’s biggest underdog who made it there despite the promotion pushing their favorites.
On the other hand, Makhachev is actively seen as Khabib’s sucessor and as such is attempting to skip the que. A lot is at stake, if Makhachev were to fail in a clash with Oliveira it would likely invalidate his entire run considering he’s not faced proven opposition before unlike Oliveira who has overcome great adversity and rose through poverty all on his own to reach the title.