Charles Oliveira doesn’t believe that Islam Makhachev earned the lightweight title shot himself, but instead believes his friend Khabib Nurmagomedov got him the title shot.
Oliveira and Makhachev will be facing off for the vacant lightweight championship at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi. Makhachev is on a tremendous ten fight win streak, but hasn’t beaten anyone currently ranked in the top ten. Oliveira is also on an 11 fight win streak of his own, finishing fights left and right.
Oliveira earned the lightweight championship when he beat Michael Chandler and defended it successfully against Dustin Poirier, however he was forced to vacate the title after he missed weight for his fight with Justin Gaethje by a half pound.
Charles Oliveira believes that Makhachev got this fight due to his strong relationship he has with former lightweight champion Nurmagomedov
“I think we have to respect my opponent. Islam is coming with a 10-fight win streak. He is very smart with his game. However, I think he’s been surfing a wave that is not his, but Khabib’s. That’s the truth,” Oliveira said on UFC Embedded. “This match is happening because Khabib made it happen. Not by Islam’s own merit. Because in my opinion, he should be fighting against a top-five contender. Who’s the (top) ranked opponent that Islam fought? No one. On the other hand, my 11 victories were against 11 good fighters, complete MMA fighters. I fought all the top five. Standing or on the ground, I knocked them out, submitted them of the 11 victories only one was by decision.” (Transcribed by BJPenn.com)
Oliveira will be Makhachev’s biggest test to date, but Oliveira has faced the elite of the division already. He knows what it feels like to be in a big fight and also knows how it feels to be down in the scorecards and climb his way back to a win. The fight is one of the most anticipated ever in the division, as Oliveira has a chance to become the greatest lightweight of all time.