In an interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, Makhachev revealed his side to the story:
“When they offered this fight, I said ‘Doesn’t matter where.’ I told them I am going to come to Brazil, sit in my horse and come to Brazil. I told you I said it doesn’t matter where and when. I wanted a title fight and this guy’s trying to run. He’s saying I want to [fight] McGregor or Nate Diaz, but he wants an easy fight. But, I told you it doesn’t matter where – Brazil, Abu Dhabi or some other place.”
Earlier, Oliveira claimed that the vacant lightweight title fight against Islam Makhachev was set for UFC 283 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in January. He added that Makhachev refused to go to Brazil and instead asked for the fight to happen in Abu Dhabi.
The former lightweight champion was forced to vacate the title after failing to make weight ahead of his fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. He now has an opportunity to win back the gold against a dangerous Makhachev.
The duo are set to clash on October 22, 2022, at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. In an interview with Ag. Fight, ‘do Bronx’ revealed how he plans to prepare for the fight against Islam Makhachev:
“I’m a very focused guy, whenever I come to US or anywhere. I always come and try to sleep at the right time, wake up at the right times, eat the right things. I told [head coach] Diego [Lima], ‘This time I’ll do something different. I never wanted to come to the US so far in advance. But this time I will go there around 20 days before the fight.”
Charles Oliveira has been utterly dominant in the lightweight division, winning his last 11 fights in a row, one more than his opponent’s streak. The Brazilian fighter will be wary of his Dagestani opponent’s wrestling skills but is confident of being able to stay a step ahead.
Islam Makhachev has not lost a fight in the UFC since 2015 and has improved significantly since then. He has also finished his last four opponents and will pose a dangerous threat to Oliveira for the lightweight throne.
Watch Islam Makhachev preview his fight versus Charles Oliveira below: