The match between Charles Oliveria and Islam Makhachev will be a real spectacle. There are high expectations from both fighters. However, most people think that Oliveira is a class above and that he will solve the match quickly.
One of those who have similar thoughts is Justin Gaethje, who had the opportunity to meet Oliveira in the ring. However, he expects a great fight with many good moves. “I’m 100 percent confident that Islam will not dominate Charles, and that’s about it,” Gaethje told reporters backstage at UFC 278, as quoted by MMA fighting.
“I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just the way that I feel. The last time [I fought], I stepped in there with [Oliveira], there’s no way. It’s going to be a great fight. I wish I was there, I wish it wasn’t in Abu Dhabi so I can be there, but we’re all in for a treat”.
It is more or less clear what tactics both will use and what their goal will be in the fight. Makhachev's strongest weapon is to take down his opponent. Gaethje believes that Oliveira has the strength to resist it, and that he will have no problems.
However, everything is possible in UFC fights. Therefore, no outcome should surprise us. “I think Charles is going to move forward, Islam is going to try, and eventually, he might be successful,” Gaethje said. “If he is, he’ll win, but I don’t see him tiring him out.
Even if he takes him down for the first two rounds, I don’t see Charles getting submitted, and I don’t see him being too exhausted to continue the fight that he needs to fight. It’s just what I think. Chance, luck, [but I have] no idea”.
Khabib Nurmagomedov on the fight
Many consider that Khabib Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev are arrogant considering that they announced a quick finish. “Well, listen, first of all, how can you disparage the man who won the Fighter of the Year award in 2022? No one is disparaging him,” Nurmagomedov told Sambo Says.
“11 fights in a row he has won with so many finishes. I think it’s silly to think we’re underestimating this fight. This is a very hard fight. We always referred to him as a champion. If we say that we want to finish the fight early, I don’t see any arrogance in that at all.
We have a plan. We want to finish the fight early. I think that Charles also has a plan and that he also wants to finish Islam. I think he also wants to hit his opponent in the face, use his kicks, knees, punches, elbow. Right? He wants to choke his opponent out, break their bones, etc. That’s the reason we step into the octagon, right?”
• Henry Cejudo: Justin Gaethje could be the first guy to actually knock out Holloway• Max Holloway wants to fight Justin Gaethje for the BMF belt• Benoit Saint-Denis wants Justin Gaethje: “If he wants a war, anywhere, I’m for it”• Dustin Poirier: UFC 300 Sounds Attractive to Me,I Want Trilogy Against Justin Gaethje• Dustin Poirier believes Charles Oliveira can beat Islam Makhachev • Beneil Dariush reacts to his loss against Charles Oliveira