Former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov has been impressed with the work of current titleholder Charles Oliveira in the octagon.
Nurmagomedov picked Dustin Poirier to dethrone Oliveira at UFC 269, and it was close to happening early on in the fight. Poirier landed a barrage of heavy combinations on the feet in the opening round the nearly dropped Oliveira and finished it.
But Oliveira showcased his toughness and got into a rhythm with his grappling in Round 2, eventually getting the standing rear-naked choke in Round 3 in his first title defense.
During a recent interview with ESPN, Nurmagomedov spoke about Oliveira’s young title reign and where he ranks him amongst the best lightweights in the world.
“Right now is like Charles Oliveira time,” Nurmagomedov said. “And he impressed me, and I really believe he is one of the best fighters in the world right now, and best lightweight in the world. And it’s going to be very interesting fight if next fight Islam [Makhachev] wins and Charles wins, and they’re gonna fight end of the next year, it’s gonna be a great fight.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Protege Could Soon Be Next For Charles Oliveira
Nurmagomedov then previewed a possible showdown between his protege, Islam Makhachev and Oliveira.
“It’s gonna be a little bit like Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib, you know, Islam vs. Charles Oliveira,” Nurmagomedov said. “They both win, you know, right now he [Oliveira] have ten win streak. If Islam wins the next fight, Islam gonna have ten win streak. And 11 win streak Charles Oliveira is like, it’s gonna be great, great fight for both of them and for UFC for sure. I really want them both to win and they fight the end of the next year.”
Oliveira won the vacant UFC lightweight title against Michael Chandler at UFC 262, before recently defending it against Poirier. Oliveira earned a shot after Nurmagomedov retired following his win over Justin Gaethje.
Oliveira has proven that he’s one of the most dangerous fighters in the world, and could potentially give the lightweight division headaches for years to come.
Do you agree with Khabib Nurmagomedov?