Islam Makhachev believes Charles Oliveira is scared of him after the Brazilian told him to earn a shot at the lightweight title by fighting Beneil Dariush.
Oliveira is coming off a first round submission victory in his lightweight title fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274, but despite winning, he was unable to retain his belt after missing weight. ‘Do Bronx’ is officially the number one contender and needs a dance partner to fight for the vacant title. While he has called out Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz, many fans and pros want to see him against Islam Makhachev, who is currently on a ten fight win streak.
Makhachev was scheduled to face Beneil Dariush at UFC Vegas 49, but the latter had to withdraw due to injury, making way for Bobby Green to step in on short notice. The American was finished in the first round.
Former champ Khabib Nurmagomedov believes Dana White has ‘no other choice’ but to book a title fight between Makhachev and Oliveira.
Islam Makhachev On Charles Oliviera
Speaking to Trocaçao Franca (as translated by MMA Fighting), Oliveira said that Makhachev should fight Dariush to earn a title shot.
“I think the reality is, Makhachev has to fight Dariush first,” Oliveira said. “They both have to fight and then we’ll see who we’re fighting or not. Makhachev is super tough and deserves all the respect in the world. Dariush is also super tough and has a great team. It will be a great fight, so let them fight first and see what will happen down the line. Like I said, my focus now is going home and getting some rest, and my team will see who we’re fighting. I’ve never ran from a fight and never will. I’ll be there and I’ll be ready [to fight] whoever they put in there with me.
“Everyone I beat, I’ve made it pretty clear. I never let it go the distance, I always finish them. Makhachev and Dariush are the two guys I haven’t fought yet and they both have to make this fight happen. Maybe [the next contender] comes from this fight. The thing is, it makes no difference to me. I’ll be ready. The champion’s name is Charles Oliveira.”
Responding to Oliveira on Twitter, Makhachev claimed that the Brazilian doesn’t want to fight him because he’s afraid to lose.
Who do you think would win a potential fight between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira?