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UFC 294: Usman Nurmagomedov Predicts Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev

9 months ago By Sports Desk

Usman Nurmagomedov recently shared his two cents on the Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev title match. ‘Do Bronx’ is set to run it back with Makhachev in a 155-pound title rematch at UFC 294. The highly anticipated pay-per-view event is set to go down on October 21 in Abu Dhabi.

At their last meeting, Makhachev dominated Oliveira, submitting him in the second round at UFC 280 last October. The loss also snapped the Brazilian’s incredible 11-fight win streak. The Brazilian redeemed his devastating loss with a first-round TKO against Beneil Dariush at UFC 289. However, Islam Makhachev’s close friend and training partner, Usman Nurmagomedov, doesn’t give much stock to Oliveira. 

The Bellator contender recently claimed that he doesn’t see the former lightweight king topple the reigning lightweight king. He specified that Oliveira won’t be able to make the necessary adjustments to his game. 

During an interview with ESPN, Usman Nurmagomedov claimed that the second fight would go the same as the first. While he admitted Oliveira could make some changes, Nurmagomedov doesn’t think he could fix all the holes in his game. The Bellator lightweight then added that Islam Makhachev is training at full tilt and is working on getting better. 

Nurmagomedov also credited Oliveira for having fight IQ, striking abilities and world-class submission skills. However, he maintained that Makhachev would be a very difficult beast to tame. 

Given Makhachev’s grappling prowess and his Sambo pedigree, do Nurmagomedov’s words hold weight? Makhachev defended his title in February against featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski. However, the Volkanovski fight was an extremely close affair with many favoring ‘The Great’ to have won the contest.  

During the fight, Volkanovski was able to neutralize Islam Makhachev’s legendary grappling and managed to severely damage the Dagestani fighter with his striking. With the result ultimately going Makhachev’s way, it’s a tough one to judge objectively. 

However, one can be certain that Charles Oliveira will be studying the Makhachev-Volkanovski tape closely. Given how far ‘The Great’ tested Makhachev, ‘Do Bronx’ will be looking for holes he can exploit. 

Meanwhile, Usman Nurmagomedov is scheduled to defend his lightweight title against Brent Primus at Bellator 300. The momentous event is set to take place on October 7 at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego. As usual, Usman Nurmagomedov is supremely confident of getting a win. 

At a pre-fight presser, the fighter claimed that he had superior striking and wrestling skills. He also praised his grappling abilities under pressure but admitted he wasn’t as good as Khabib Nurmagomedov or Islam Makhachev. He recalled his last fight against Benson Henderson and pointed out that he took his back and finished him. 

Lastly, Nurmagomedov promised to try to finish his opponent every round and knew it was going to be a hard five rounds. Only time will tell whether the mercurial AKA teammates emerge victorious in their title defense endeavors at different times this year. 

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