Former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is predicting that Islam Makhachev will roll over Charles Oliveira in the UFC 280 main event. Khabib revealed the same during his recent interview.
The Eagle also noted that Islam is more skilled than Oliveira and added that the Russian is at his physical peak at the moment.
“I think Islam is more skilled than Oliveira. Secondly, his experience as an amateur fighter. Also, he’s at his peak. Islam is at its peak. Islam isn’t 23, 26 or 27. He’s 30. A week after the fight, he’ll be 31. It’s the best time for any athlete. It’s a time when your mental and physical state should be in synergy. Sometimes your mental state is high, but your physical state is going down,” he said in the interview (h/t MMA Junkie).
Elaborating further, Khabib said that there are some things that Islam needs to be careful of.
“Or when you’re 27 and at your physical peak, but mentally you’re not there yet, because you’re just 27, not 31. And Islam is at his peak. I think Islam is better overall. Of course, there are some potential dangers that we’re working on where Islam needs to be careful. Other than that, Islam should roll over him,” he added.
Islam’s coach Javier Mendez had also expressed similar confidence in his student and said that Islam would dictate the fight in Abu Dhabi. While he also admitted the possibility of Islam getting knocked out Mendez seemed pretty confident about his student pulling off a win.
UFC 280 happens in Abu Dhabi on October 22, 2022, and the fight between Oliveira and Islam will serve as the main event. The fight will be for the UFC Lightweight title which is currently vacant after Oliveira was stripped for missing weight ahead of his fight against Justin Gaethje.