Newly minted bantamweight champion, Sean O’Malley has backed former lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira to defeat the reigning division titleholder, Islam Makahchev at UFC 294 next month – in the hope of seeing a trilogy rubber match between the duo.
Oliveira, the current number one ranked lightweight contender and former division champion, is slated to make his return at UFC 294 in October in Abu Dhabi, UAE, taking on prior foe, Makhachev in the pair’s championship rematch.
Returning to the winner’s enclosure since dropping a second round arm-triangle submission loss to the Russian back in October of last year, Sao Paulo native, Charles Oliveira stopped the surging, Beneil Dariush at UFC 289 back in June, landing a stunning opening round ground strikes TKO win over the Iranian-born grappler.
As for Makhachev, the American Kickboxing Academy staple successfully defended his lightweight crown for the first time back in February, landing a close, unanimous decision win over pound-for-pound best and featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski back in February at UFC 284.
Charles Oliveira urged to pursue Khabib Nurmagomedov superfight
According to O’Malley, however, he would love to see Oliveira secure his championship with a win over Makhachev – before setting up a trilogy rubber match, or a long-anticipated fight with the retired, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“I would love to see Charles (Oliveira) f*cking win [against Islam Makhachev at UFC 294],” Sean O’Malley said during an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience. “That would make for a huge trilogy. Maybe call Khabib (Nurmagomedov) out.”
Retiring from mixed martial arts competition back in October 2020, Nurmagomedov, now 35 years old, called time on his undefeated tenure with a second round triangle choke submission win over former interim champion, Justin Gaethje.
Winning lightweight gold against Michael Chandler the following year, Oliveira would go on to land victories over Dustin Poirier, and the above-mentioned, Gaethje in subsequent championship fights.