Khabib Nurmagomedov is extremely confident that his friend and sparring partner Islam Makhachev will beat Charles Oliveira when they face off in Abu Dhabi at UFC 280. The former lightweight champion has a message for anyone in doubt: prepare your apologies.
Nurmagomedov has spent the last few months campaigning for Makhachev to win a lightweight title against Charles Oliveira since Makhachev beat Bobby Green in February. Dana White initially wanted Makhachev to fight Beneil Dariush, but between Dariush’s injuries and fan demand for Oliveira against Makhachev, the UFC boss eventually relented and booked them for Oct. 22.
In a new Instagram reel, Khabib Nurmagomedov shared a video imagining the moment before the fight between “Do Bronx” and Makhachev, with Bruce Buffer announcing in the cage. He writes in Russian:
“Just creepy waiting. Islam Makhachev is coming out for this fight against the best fighter in the UFC right now. Oliveira is the best fighter of 2022. He is one of the best regardless of weight class , also goes on a 12-win streak in the UFC. This fight will answer all questions. Someone reads history, and someone writes it. Prepare your apologies, we aim to win Oliveira sooner than expected InshaAllah.”
Charles Oliveira thinks Islam Makhachev should thank Khabib Nurmagomedov for his title shot
Charles Oliveira may not technically be the UFC lightweight champion due to a half-pound loss at the weigh-ins at UFC 274, but he still stands as the champion and considers his fight against Islam Makhachev as another title defense.
When asked about his thoughts on Makhachev as a contender, he paid tribute to the Dagestani fighter but said Khabib Nurmagomedov played a big role in earning him a title shot.
In an interview with ESPN Brazil, Oliveira said:
“Actually, I think he has his merits. He’s on a long winning streak. If I’m not mistaken, there’s been 11 in a row, right? Or something like But, on the other hand, Khabib [Nurmagomedov] also has enormous weight. Having this man on your back, whether you like it or not, gives him weight. He retired undefeated and the whole story of what he did. So whether you like it or not, it has weight. But in my mind, I think he should have to fight one more fight to fight for the belt.”
Makhachev’s ten-fight winning streak is impressive, although some fans and pundits have pointed out that none of those wins have come against the top five lightweights. That’s part of why Dana White was so insistent that Makhachev take on Beneil Dariush, who was in the top five at lightweight until inactivity dropped him to sixth.
This is where Khabib Nurmagomedov was able to use his influence, not only with the UFC, but also with the media to promote an Oliveira vs. Makhachev fight. Now the fight will come true on October 22 at UFC 280.