Charles Oliveira is as confident as can be ahead of his huge title bout at UFC 280 on Oct. 22, 2022.
The promotion’s return to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, has begun shaping up to be a monumental pay-per-view (PPV) card, thanks in part to the vacant Lightweight championship main event. Standing across from the “former” champion, Oliveira, will be the relentless mauler, Islam Makhachev, who rides a strong streak of wins himself.
Despite their different paths to the top, “Do Bronx” still finds himself being underestimated by the general public as a betting underdog.
“He’s dropping in on a wave, and that’s what he’s supposed to do,” Oliveira said of Makhachev at the UFC 280 press conference (h/t MMA Fighting). “But, if you’ve seen my record, I’ve fought tougher people, and I’m here to prove that I’ll do it again.
“I’m here to fight,” he added. “That’s what I will do, and you will know who is the champ once again.”
In Makhachev’s nearly flawless career (22-1), he’s utilized his strong and smothering wrestling game to smash his way to victory. Many compare the 30-year-old to his mentor, former UFC Lightweight kingpin, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and for good reason. Oliveira is also a vastly talented fighter on the ground, just in different ways.
Holding the record for most submissions in UFC history, Oliveira continues daring Makhachev to take their fight where he typically does.
“The ground is his turf so he will definitely try to do that, but if he does, will he want to do and bring down the best submitter in the history of the UFC? I’m not sure,” Oliveira said. “The name of the champion is well known, and his name is Charles Oliveira.
“We’ve seen he is the type of fellow who tries to bring the fight to the ground, but that doesn’t hinder me at all,” he concluded. “So I’m ready for everything that he brings.”
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