Demian Maia believes that former UFC Lightweight champion Charles Oliveira can defeat Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“If there’s a man to beat that type of fighter [Islam and Khabib], it’s Charles, because Charles has [a good] guard [game]. You have to have [a good] guard to beat someone like that, enough guard to at least survive but also be offensive, to be dangerous there. Charles has that. Charles is a dangerous fight for that type of fighter. Not to mention he’s dangerous as hell on the feet. I would put [my money] on Oliveira to win if he gets paired up against Makhachev next. I’m not a betting guy, but I would,” Maia said [via MMA Fighting].
Maia also recalled the time when he came across Khabib Nurmagomedov before UFC 148.
“He was warming up with us, such a nice guy. The coach said ‘Demian, this kid is so tough. He’ll be champion one day.’ I asked him if he had good wrestling and he said, ‘No, he has good jiu-jitsu.’ He trained with a bunch of jiu-jitsu guys at AKA and has that incredible background in wrestling and sambo, so he combined all that,” Maia recalled.
Khabib went on to become the UFC Lightweight champion as well and retired with a perfect record of 29-0 to his name.
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