The hype for UFC 280 has been through the roof as uncrowned champ, Charles Oliveira, takes on Islam Makhachev to determine who is the best Lightweight on the planet. Many believe Islam is the next coming of Khabib Nurmagomedov, but Gilbert Burns isn’t one of these people.
In an interview with All Star Sports, Burns had the following to say about Makhachev.
“I heard Makhachev is very very good. He finishes a lot of guys and has a very good submission game, better than Khabib’s. But the numbers don’t say that. A lot of guys say Makhachev is really good and this and that, but the numbers doesn’t say that. People say he’s the new Khabib, but no, he’s not Khabib. He lost by knockout. He got taken down by Thiago Moises.”
Gilbert Burns believes Oliveira can strike with the best of them
“People say ‘Oh he [Oliviera] got dropped’ yeah he got dropped, but he strike toe to toe with Chandler, he strike toe to toe with Gatheje, he strike toe to toe with Dustin. Who does that? Yeah, McGregor did, and he got knocked out. Oh, Eddie Alvarez did, and he got knocked out. He did toe to toe with best strikes and beat every single one of them.”
Striking could be the x-factor in the upcoming Lightweight title bout, as Islam is known primarily for his grappling. A point Gilbert Burns made sure to make.
“He doesn’t have lot of finishes. Yeah, he finished Dan Hooker, and he did finish Moises. But look at the finish Charles has. Charles’ curriculum is way better than Islam’s. Charles’ striking is way better than Islam’s.”
Another factor is the ability of Oliviera to withstand a tough back and forth, as pretty much in all his recent bouts, Oliviera had to come back from some adversity. This could be a major advantage for Oliviera, according to Gilbert Burns.
“Charles is on very good momentum. I do think Charles is going to win. I don’t think it’s going to be easy. I think Charles will find a way to put himself in a war. It’s going to be a war, and I do believe Charles is going to win.”
There has been recent animosity between Oliviera and Makhachev as Oliviera believes he’s being disrespected. So, we’re sure to see the best version of both fighters as the Lightweight title takes place on October 22nd in Abu Dhabi.