Despite suffering a rather comprehensive submission loss to undisputed lightweight champion, Islam Makhachev last year, former division champion, Charles Oliveira has been backed by former interim champion, Dustin Poirier to defeat the Russian in a much-anticipated future UFC rematch – depending on his frame of mind.
Oliveira, a former undisputed lightweight champion, was scheduled to headline UFC 294 back in October of this year in Abu Dhabi, UAE, until a nasty laceration over his eyebrow forced the Brazilian from a set lightweight titleholder rematch with Makhachev in the Middle East.
Fighting the American Kickboxing Academy staple last year, Charles Oliveira saw his 11-fight winning streak come to a crashing halt at the Etihad Arena, dropping a second round arm-triangle submission loss to the former in the pair’s vacant championship bout.
Rebounding to the winner’s enclosure at UFC 288 back in June of this year, Oliveira managed to land a stunning opening round win over the streaking, Beneil Dariush, landing a ground strikes TKO win over the perennial contender in the pair’s title eliminator.
Dustin Poirier confident Charles Oliveira can beat Islam Makhachev
And expected to eventually fight Makhachev in a return to the Octagon – potentially in the summer of next year, Oliveira has the keys to defeat the Russian according to former-foe, Poirier, if he approaches it with a certain mindset.
“If (Charles) Oliveira’s mindset is in, if he’s the same guy who fought me, who fought (Michael) Chandler, I think he can win that fight [against Islam Makhachev],” Dustin Poirier told MMA Junkie. “I don’t think he wanted to fight in that title fight. He looked like he didn’t want to be there. He quit on himself, it looked like.”
“That’s my opinion,” Poirier explained. “But I know personally he has the skills to beat the best guys in the world, and he has done that time and time again. If he goes in there with his mindset locked in, ready to go, I think he can beat him.”
Do you think Charles Oliveira has the ability to beat Islam Makhachev next year?