Despite seeing his championship rematch with former lightweight titleholder, Charles Oliveira fall to the wayside ahead of UFC 294, last night’s stunning finish for Islam Makhachev in Abu Dhabi, UAE sees the Russian champion maintain his lead on the betting lines to defeat the former in a potential future title fight.
Makhachev, the incumbent lightweight champion, headlined last night’s return to the Middle East for the Octagon, turning in a spectacular first round win over pound-for-pound best and featherweight kingpin, Alexander Volkanovski in another rematch clash, stopping the Australian with a thunderous opening round high-kick KO win.
Drafting in to replace Sao Paulo finisher, Oliveira on just 10 days’ notice earlier this month, Volkanovski shared the Octagon with Makhachev in an attempt to avenge a February unanimous decision loss to the Russian in a Perth homecoming.
Islam Makhachev leads betting lines over Charles Oliveira after UFC 294
However, turning in his second consecutive title fight win over the New South Wales native, Islam Makhachev has maintained lines as high as -350 to beat ex-champion, Oliveira if they’re booked opposite each other again, with the former sitting as a +275 betting underdog.
Embarking on a rigorous training course and camp ahead of his championship victory against Volkanovski at UFC 294 over the course of last weekend, Makhachev, an astute trainer at American Kickboxing Academy under head coach, Javier Mendez and former lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, infamous training and sparring sessions at the San Jose facility.
A host of markets and online bookies are still offering action on a potential future rematch between Makhachev and Oliveira – as odds appear to point to another one-sided victory for the Russian over his Brazilian rival if they fight again.
Sharing the Octagon for the first time back in October of last year at UFC 280 in a vacant title outing, Makhachev recorded a one-sided and comprehensive victory over ex-champion, Oliveira.
Failing to mount any real significant offense against the Russian all-rounder, Oliveira saw his division-best 11-fight winning streak come to a crushing end in the form of a second round arm-triangle submission losses to Makhachev at the Etihad Arena.
And returning to the Octagon for the first time since in June of this year in Canada, Oliveira snapped his winless run in ‘The Great White North’ – making short work of the surging, Beneil Dariush with a high-kick knockdown and follow-up strikes en route to a first round TKO win over the Iranian.
However, forced from last night’s slated rematch with Islam Makhachev after suffering a sizeable laceration above his right eye, Oliveira has since been tipped to likely return to a championship fight with the former, by UFC CEO, Dana White.
Speaking with assembled media following the culmination of UFC 294 last night, the long-time organizational boss appeared to only have eyes for a future title fight between Makhachev and Oliveira, claiming the promotion had to honor the rematch afforded to the Brazilian, who dispatched Dariush in blistering fashion at UFC 288 earlier this summer.
Remaining non-committal on a re-booked fight with Oliveira, however, Islam Makhachev – who was the immediate subject of a call out from former interim titleholder and recently-minted BMF champion, Justin Gaethje, claimed he would fight whomever the promotion elected to pit him against in his return to the Octagon.
Furthermore, expected to have a keen eye on how UFC 296’s title fight between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington plays out, Makhachev has stressed his intentions to land a second championship belt during his tenure with the promotion.
Do you still want to see Islam Makhachev fight Charles Oliveira after UFC 294?