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Islam Makhachev reveals his biggest career problem: ‘This problem is going to finish’ at UFC 280


Islam Makhachev intends on becoming the problem solver at UFC 280 this weekend (Sat., Oct. 22, 2022) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

One of the bigger detractions toward Makhachev throughout his career has been the level of competition he faced en route to this upcoming title shot versus Charles Oliveira. The Dagestani smasher is aware of the critique, however, and wants to point out it isn’t his fault for not facing more top-ranked contenders than he has.

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YEAR-END PPV BLOWOUT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) closes out its final pay-per-view (PPV) of the year on Sat., Dec. 10, 2022, with a battle for the vacant Light Heavyweight crown between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Jan Blachowicz, looking to stop the momentum of No. 3-seeded Magomed Ankalaev. In the co-main event of UFC 282, which will take place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, breakout star, Paddy Pimblett, intends to keep his momentum going at the expense of gritty veteran, Jared Gordon.

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“All my professional career I’ve had one problem, all these guys from the top avoid me,” Makhachev told CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri. “For many years. This is not my mistake. I just fought who they put in front of me. I never choose some opponents. Now this problem is going to finish because I’m going to be champion and they are going to call me out.

“All my professional career I have had this problem,” he continued. “I called out [Michael] Chandler, [Dustin] Poirier, [Justin] Gaethje, all of these guys. They never agreed to a match. People still say, ‘Islam has not beaten someone from the top.’ This is not my problem. I was always wanting to fight with top guys but they never gave me an answer. This is not my problem... For example, even Charles Oliveira tried to avoid me. He said, ‘I need a new contract, I need to fight in Brazil, I want a money fight.’ But now I’m close. It’s going to be next and I’m so excited.”

Makhachev’s encounter with Oliveira is one of the most anticipated bouts in mixed martial arts (MMA) at present. All the names mentioned by Makhachev have already been taken out by Oliveira during his championship run, and now “Do Bronx” looks to add a 10th stoppage to his wild stretch of brilliance in recent years.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 280 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPNEWS/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard (also on ESPNEWS/ESPN+) at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 280: “Oliveira vs. Makhachev” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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