Islam Makhachev recently made fun of his prospective rival Charles Oliveira for not speaking English. In a recent interview on the DC & RC program on ESPN MMA, Makhachev emphasized the need for athletes to learn English.
Which is particularly poignant because his English could be described as rudimentary.
Because the UFC is an American organization, Makhachev thinks an athlete in the UFC must be able to speak English in order to connect with the audience and eventually gain popularity. He’s not entirely wrong in this assertion – but Khabib Nurmagomedov also started off with no English.
The Dagestani said that Oliveira needed to learn the language to increase his income in the UFC and stated that no one could comprehend what he was saying.
Fans were outraged to watch the former two-division champion openly laughing at Oliveira with Makhachev.
Many fans have accused Cormier of being overtly prejudiced against Oliveira and have called for the UFC to remove him from the commentary team when Makhachev and Oliveira clash later this year.
Someone wrote, “Keep DC off that commentary team.”
Although he lost the lightweight championship at UFC 274 and is thus no longer considered to be the champion, Charles Oliveira is largely recognized as the undisputed lightweight champion. Makhachev also shaded Oliveira over McGregor call out.
Conor McGregor, who hasn’t competed in the lightweight division since 2016, was the opponent Charles Oliveira was coveted for a lucrative matchup.
“For me, this is embarrassing when UFC lightweight champion asks [for] someone like Nate Diaz or Conor McGregor. Conor McGregor, who won five years ago – nobody remembers when these guys win some.”
“He tried to go Diaz or McGregor, but he forgot my name. And when they asked about me, he said he needs money or something like this, but when he fought Dustin [Poirier] or Justin Gaethje, he didn’t think about money.”
On the other hand Makhachev’s biggest claim to fame is being Nurmagomedov adjacent so perhaps it’s time to rethink his marketing strategy. Not to mention that Makhachev has since given his twitter password to his provocateur manager who has attempted to get a rise out of Oliveira tweeting in Portuguese. So much on his preaching about English…