Charles Oliveira’s coach explains why they declined an immediate Islam Makhachev rematch in Brazil: “It’s way beyond physical.”

Charles Oliveira Islam Makhachev
Photo Credit: UFC and ESPN+

The former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira was offered an instant rematch against the Dagestani wrestler Islam Makhachev. This fight was offered to the Brazilian fighter for UFC 283 in January 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

‘Do Bronx’ Charles Oliveira declined the match. The two lightweight fighters just battled in the main event of UFC 280 with Khabib Nurmagomedov‘s protege Makhachev winning via submission. Up to that loss, Oliveira was on an 11-fight win streak in just five years.

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Instead, Islam Makhachev will be defending his lightweight title against the the UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284 on February 2023 in Perth, Australia.

Why did Charles Oliveira decline the Islam Makhachev rematch?

Charles Oliveira’s coach and manager Diego Lima, while speaking to Super Lutas, explained that Oliveira is under tremendous emotional stress. Lima explained:

“I talked it over with Charles. He’s not injured, but there’s an emotional stress. It’s way beyond physical. Charles is the only fighter that has faced all the top 5 guys within a year. Champs normally hide, they want to fight once a year. That’s not Charles, but Rio is way too close now. We prefer to give Charles a well-deserved vacation.” [Transcript and translation courtesy of Bloody Elbow]

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Lima also added that he and Oliveira are very happy with the treatment they have received from the UFC. He continued:

“When we were going to face Makhachev we showed a lot of interest in fighting him in Rio. One week after [UFC 280], the UFC got in touch with us. They gave us the opportunity to fight [Makhachev] in Rio. They have always been really good to us. We have really good talks. It was up to us to accept or not.”

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One Brazilian who will be fighting at UFC 283 is Johnny Walker, who takes on Paul Craig. Check out our interview with the dynamic striker ahead of his exciting clash with the ‘Bearjew’ below: