Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev are set to face off in a highly anticipated lightweight title fight at UFC 280 in October. Former UFC middleweight champion and UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping shared his thoughts on Oliveira’s potential strategy.
Speaking on the Believe You Me podcast, Michael Bisping discussed the upcoming title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. Bisping predicted an early takeover that will lead to ‘high level grappling’, stating:
“I think [Makhachev]’s going to come in, I think he’s going to smash him on the ground, initially, because, you’re right, Charles just lets people take him down because he’s like ‘take me down, come on motherf**ker, take me down and see what happens’. So, I think Islam’s going to get an easy takedown then maybe be in for a bit of a rude awakening and then we’re going to be treated, or in store, for some high level grappling that’s going to be fun to watch.“
UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Smith added:
“It’s either going to be high level, crazy exchanges, which I think favors Oliveira because that gives him an opportunity to get back to his feet and he’s kind of an opportunistic grappler who’s grabbing s**t in transitions. If Islam’s going to win though, I truly believe he’s gonna have to slow him down, he’s gonna have to get a takedown, he’s gonna have to slowly, methodically work on passing his guard, he’s gonna have to keep him flat on his back, it’s gonna have to be boring.“
Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev will make history at UFC 280
Charles Oliveira will enter UFC 280 riding an eleven-fight win streak, while Islam Makhachev enters on a ten-fight win streak. Their matchup will mark the first title fight in UFC history where both fighters enter the octagon with a double-digit win streak.
Despite their respective winning streaks, neither fighter is the current champion. Oliveira was stripped of his title at UFC 274 for missing weight by half a pound. He will be looking to regain the lightweight championship title that he has held since Khabib Nurmagomedov retired and vacated the belt.
His UFC 280 opponent just so happens to be very close friends and training partners with Nurmagomedov. Many believe that Makhachev is undeserving of a title shot despite his dominant performances, as he has not faced much of the top talent in the division.
Watch Michael Bisping and Anthony Smith breakdown the matchup between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev below (starting at the 4:39 mark):