Slated to rematch former undisputed titleholder, Charles Oliveira at the lightweight limit next month at UFC 294, Islam Makhachev, who searches for a second victory over the Brazilian, has been backed to “destroy” the former champion this time around, by Nasrat Haqparast.
Makhachev, the current undisputed lightweight champion, is set to headline UFC 294 next month in Abu Dhabi, UAE, taking on Sao Paulo finishing ace, Oliveira in the pair’s championship rematch.
First meeting a year ago at the same venue in the Middle East, Islam Makhachev finally minted himself as the undisputed lightweight champion, defeating Oliveira with a second round arm-triangle submission win to clinch the vacant crown and snap the former champion’s division-best 12-fight winning streak.
Defending the crown once in the time since, the American Kickboxing Academy mainstay defeated pound-for-pound number one and undisputed featherweight titleholder, Alexander Volkanovski back in February at UFC 284 in a close, debated unanimous decision triumph.
Islam Makhachev backed to “destroy” Charles Oliveira in UFC 294 rematch
And despite returning to the winner’s enclosure back in Jue with a blistering first round TKO win over Beneil Dariush in Canada to set up a title rematch with Makhachev, Oliveira simply is on a level below his Russian adversary, according to recent UFC 293 winner, Haqparast.
“I think Islam (Makhachev) is really like, pound-for-pound number one,” Nasrat Haqparast told assembled media after UFC 293. “He’s gonna show his class. I’ve trained with Islam, he’s a good friend of mine. We trained in Las Vegas two years ago. He’s a great guy, I love him.”
“He’s a different level, he’s gonna destory Charles Oliveira, and hopefully get the pound-for-pound number one [spot],” Haqparast explained. (Transcribed by MMA News)
Furthermore, ahead of his championship rematch with Oliveira, Makhachev has also been offered a title re-run against the above-mentioned, Volkanovski, who suggested a rematch next year at UFC 300.