Charles Oliveira responds in one word when asked if Islam Makhachev is his toughest challenge yet

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The UFC 280 headliner between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev is scheduled to take place on October 22, 2022 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The thrilling clash of styles between a jiu-jitsu adept and a combat sambo ace is guaranteed to produce fireworks.

When asked if Islam Makhachev was the toughest challenge of his mixed martial arts career that spans more than two decades, Charles Oliveira had only one one-word answer. The Brazilian, who is often accompanied by an interpreter due to a lack of English language proficiency, didn’t need it to articulate his thoughts with a quick response.

ESPN-MMA reporter Brett Okamoto sat down with ‘do Bronx’ to preview his upcoming clash in a one-on-one interview. When asked if Makhachev would be the toughest challenge yet for the 30-fight UFC veteran, Oliveira replied confidently:

“Nope!”

Oliveira was further asked why he didn’t take the Dagestan challenge the same as everyone else in the MMA community, to which he replied. [via a translator]:

“He’s a protege of Khabib and he [carries] this weight on his shoulders. I didn’t choose the fights, I settled for them. And that’s what we’re going to do. This is an other story.”

The 32-year-old former UFC lightweight champion distinguished between the two fighters’ backgrounds. According to him, while the fighting life simply chose him, his rival from Dagestan had a path mapped out for him as Khabib Nurmagomedov’s successor.

Watch the interview below:

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Charles Oliveira comments on whether Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to fight

Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira is just over a week away from stepping into the octagon against Islam Makhachev to determine the organization’s undisputed lightweight champion.

Undefeated MMA sensation Khabib Nurmagomedov reigned supreme in the lightweight division before retiring following the sad passing of his father. The late Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov envisioned Islam Makhachev’s ascension to the light throne as the “successor to the Eagle”. Considering this, Makhachev fights for the manifestation of the esteemed combat sports trainer.

Nurmagomedov, who took on the coaching role after retiring, has repeatedly said he is done with his fighting career. The UFC Modern Wing Hall of Famer dismissed the narrative that he might be able to return to defend his friend’s honor if Charles Oliveira beats Makhachev.

Wondering if he imagines Khabib Nurmagomedov returning in the aforementioned interview, Oliveira said:

“Honesty, I don’t think he’s going to fight again. Khabib said he retired and it’s done. And I fully respect that decision.”

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