Charles Oliveira’s UFC 280 title clash against Islam Makhachev is arguably the most anticipated bout of the year. While both fighters are almost evenly matched in terms of their skillset, ‘do Bronx’ is a sizeable underdog going into the bout.
The uncrowned king of lightweights is confident that Makhachev won’t change his usual wrestling-heavy approach for the UFC 280 headliner.
Oliveira believes his opponent will try to wear him out on the ground rather than look for submissions. However, ‘do Bronx’ is more worried about what he has to offer rather than what his opponent will bring to the table. The Brazilian said in a recent interview with Ag.Fight:
“He’ll try to take me down not through my legs, but through my hips. He’ll try to take me down and nullify my legs. He won’t come dying to submit me, but rather to wear me out. But man, like I said, I’m not worried about what Makhachev can bring. I’m worried about what Charles can take there. You can be sure it won’t go past the first round.” h/t Brazilian MMA Legends
Confident in his stand-up game resulting from recent fights, Charles Oliveira also vowed to keep pressing forward. The former lightweight champion further said:
“So the team is setting up my strategy, I’ll be moving forward all the time as I said. I have firepower in my hands. If you look at my latest opponents, that’s what they’re talking about. The firepower in my hands. And my jiu-jitsu you know very well.” h/t Brazilian MMA Legends
By the way, Justin Gaethje vouches for the firepower in Charles Oliveira’s hands
According to Gaethje, getting hit by Charles Oliveira is different than getting hit by other fighters and is akin to licking a powerful battery. The 33-year-old told the media at UFC 278 last weekend:
“My last fight, Charles was brilliant. And he hurt me often, he hurt me early. Ten seconds in, I was really hurt, and probably four times after that. I felt something I never felt in the cage. It’s a feeling I’ve never felt. Usually, you get hit, you call it a buzz, call it a flash. This is more like my tongue just went on a super powerful battery and it just… my entire body was crazy. It was perfect shots, perfect time, one or the other.”
Watch Gaethje’s appearance at the UFC 278 post-fight scrum below: