Charles Oliveira waves skeptics against Islam Makhachev at UFC 280: ‘I fought tougher people’

Charles Oliveira remains focused on the task at hand.

At UFC 280, Oliveira will face Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title who was forced to vacate him after losing weight to Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. It is a match that has been rumored for some time but was not Oliveira’s first choice. After defeating Gethje, the Du Bronx said Makhachev needed another win before he could fight for the title, and instead called for a match against Conor McGregor. Obviously that wasn’t the case, and with an opponent now trapped, Oliveira is putting all his energy back into reclaiming his title.

“He’s falling in a wave, and that’s what he’s supposed to do,” Oliveira said of Makhachev at the UFC 280 press conference. “But if you see my record, I fought tougher people, and I’m here to prove that I’ll do it again.

“I am here to fight. That is what I will do, and you will know who the champion is again.”

The fight is sure to be one of the most anticipated confrontations of the year – the uncrowned champion against the man many believe will become the new lightweight champion. It also represents the wrestler’s delight, as Makhachev is the first ground and pound specialist in the lightweight division, while Oliveira has the most orders in UFC history. Oliveira has already said he has no problem going into reality with Makhachev, and the De Bronx is still confident he is the better fighter for the job.

“The ground is his territory, so he will definitely try to do it, but if he does, will he want to do it and drop the best presenter in UFC history? Oliveira said.” The champ’s name is known and his name is Charles Oliveira.

“We’ve seen that he’s kind of trying to bring the fight to the ground, but that doesn’t hold me back at all. So I’m ready for whatever he brings.”

If Oliveira beats Makhachev and reclaims the title, a world of opportunities will open up for him, including the possibility of a legacy-defining battle against lightweight goats Khabib Nurmagomedov. Some suggested that if he defeated Oliveira Makhachev – Nurmagomedov’s bestowed friend and successor – this might be the incentive to persuade “Eagle” to come out of retirement for one last match. And while it might be confusing to suggest to fans, for Oliveira it’s just a distraction from the task at hand.

“That’s a question you should ask him,” Oliveira said when asked if Khabib might return to fight him. I deservedly retired. My focus is on fighting in October, then going back to Brazil to fight in January.

We need to respect people’s opinions and decisions. Of course I respect what he has done over the years. If he chooses to fight me, here I am. ”

Nurmagomedov’s bout isn’t the only one that can wait for Oliveira though. A win could lead to the “Do Bronx” for the lucrative fight Conor McGregor had been aiming for.

“I have no particular fondness [McGregor]Oliveira said when asked about it. “This is a job and if he brings in money, that’s great. He’s a little heavier. I can meet him there if needed. I think McGregor just wants to enjoy life. My focus right now is Islam and what’s coming next.”

Of course, there’s another potential opponent for Oliveira, too, if he defeats Makhachev at UFC 280: featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovsky, who has been battling for a shot at the 155-pound belt and has even suggested he could fight for the rumored UFC’s comeback. to Australia next year.

But this does not quite correspond to what Oliveira planned, which is to beat Makhachev this fall, and then defend his title at home next year, which he has not done before.

“Baby steps. Now I focus on October and Islam,” Oliveira said. “And of course January is very close to October, so I will fight as long as it is in Brazil. I wanted to fight in Brazil for a long time. I think that after conquering Islam, I might be able to bring the fight to Brazil.”

UFC 280 takes place on October 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

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