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Islam Makhachev does not want a rematch, says Coach of Charles Oliveira

LockerRoom Team
13 January 2024

In an exciting turn of events, Charles Oliveira's coach and manager, Diego Lima, expresses confidence that the winner of the ex-champ's upcoming UFC 300 bout against Arman Tsarukyan is destined to face lightweight champion Islam Makhachev. The statement comes amidst Makhachev's publicized plans for 2024, revealing a desire to clash with Justin Gaethje before confronting Oliveira or Tsarukyan at Madison Square Garden in November.

UFC CEO Dana White had previously announced that the winner of Oliveira vs. Tsarukyan would earn a shot at the lightweight title later in the year. However, Makhachev's unexpected plans stirred the pot, suggesting an alternative path for the champion.

Diego Lima shared his insights, stating, "Makhachev is great, he’s the champion for a reason. The guy is really good and has all the merits, but I think it’s clear that he doesn’t want to fight Charles again. He wants out of this fight any way possible."

Lima emphasized that despite Makhachev's preferences, the winner of the Oliveira-Tsarukyan bout would have no escape, asserting, "There’s nowhere to run. I really believe that’s the fight. If you look at Gaethje’s last six fights, if you look at [Dustin] Poirier’s last six fights, if you look at [Beneil] Dariush’s, there’s no one else for him to fight. It’s Charles."

Reflecting on Oliveira's earlier chance at Makhachev, Lima revealed discussions with the UFC for a potential re-booking. However, an injury to the Russian and the uncertainty surrounding his return prompted Oliveira to stay active. Lima explained, "If you’re not seen, you’re not remembered. Let’s say we wait for Makhachev, but then [Tsarukyan], who’s on a good streak, a beautiful win over Dariush – we miss out on UFC 300, a historical card."

ALSO READ | Dan Hooker feels that Islam Makhachev will retire to avoid Arman Tsarukyan

Addressing concerns about Oliveira not making pay-per-view points due to no longer holding the UFC championship, Lima clarified that negotiations were excellent, and Oliveira is being compensated. Although an interim belt was considered for the Tsarukyan match, it was ultimately rejected, with Lima emphasizing, "the belt that matters is the one around Makhachev’s waist."

Closing the discussion, Lima highlighted Oliveira's enthusiasm for the UFC 300 bout, stating, "Charles loves challenges. Charles’ career is for real. He’s always fought beasts ever since he got in the UFC, so that’s the best fight available for us, the best opportunity." The stage is set for an intense showdown, with fans eagerly anticipating the outcome of the UFC 300 clash and the subsequent path to championship glory.

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