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3 Reasons why Charles Oliveira can beat Islam Makhachev

11 August 2022

Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev are all set to lock horns at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi. The winner will be crowned the UFC Lightweight champion and the stakes are sky high for the matchup.

While it is next to impossible to make a prediction about the fight considering how skilled both fighters are, there are certain factors that work in favour of the former UFC Lightweight champion.

Charles Oliveira has a slight edge over the Dagestani superstar owing to a few points and with that said, here are three reasons why Charles Oliveira could beat Islam Makhachev.

Exposure to better competition

Charles Oliveira, during his run in the UFC, has been exposed to some high-quality competition. In fact, his resume is so good that he has beaten everyone in the Top Five of the UFC Lightweight Rankings except Islam Makhachev.

Oliveira holds wins over Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler and Kevin Lee among others. All these fighters came in with a different set of skills. Being exposed to all these would have been a great learning curve for Oliveira which makes him far more dangerous.

Oliveira has been in the UFC for more than a decade now and the experience is going to come in handy as well when he steps into the cage with Makhachev.

As for Makhachev, he is yet to get exposed to top-level competition in the UFC if we keep apart a couple of short-notice fights. While training with Khabib Nurmagomedov is indeed something special, it is unlikely to be a substitute for the vast amount of experience that Oliveira is going to bring to the table along with the BJJ prowess that he has.

Lack of Invincibility

Islam Makhachev is not Khabib Nurmagomedov. Throughout his career in the UFC, Khabib Nurmagomedov went into his fights with an aura of invincibility. The Russian was undefeated throughout his career.

This had two impacts on his opponents: First, it takes up mental space as you know that you are going against someone that has not been beaten yet. Second: there is a lack of blueprint on what strategy to follow.

These two factors, however, do not apply to Islam Makhachev. He has already suffered a loss in the UFC and that too, he was knocked out. Though it has been a long time since the fight happened, it still adds to the confidence of Oliveira that what he is going to do has already been achieved by someone else.

ALSO READ | Charles Oliveira feels that Islam is getting the easy route due to Khabib

Now, the same advantage is there for Islam Makhachev as well. Oliveira has suffered multiple losses throughout his career and there is a blueprint out there on how to defeat Oliveira but what makes the situation of Oliveira and Makhachev different, is the third factor.

The Pressure and the Underdog

Charles Oliveira is seen as the underdog in this fight by many. Despite him being a former UFC Lightweight champion, many believe that Islam Makhachev is going to have it easy against the Brazilian MMA star.

The fight will be happening in Abu Dhabi which is considered the backyard of Khabib and Islam. They are likely to have a home advantage even though technically it is not home turf.  

All these factors might work as an extra added pressure on Islam Makhachev. On top of this, Islam has big shoes to fill in. He is seen as the successor of Khabib Nurmagomedov. His winning is necessary not only for him but for Khabib as well considering the series of events that could happen if Islam loses. This could work in favour of Oliveira.

ALSO READ | Islam Makhachev mocks the inability of Charles Oliveira to speak English

Then again, MMA is a sport which throws away all the predictions out of the window. We will have to wait and see who takes home the title at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi. What are your predictions? Let us know in the comment section of the article below.


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