Makhachev may well be next in line to fight for the title after Gaethje with a win this weekend. The Russian was scheduled to have been facing Beneil Dariush in a supposed title eliminator, but Dariush was forced to withdraw with an injury last week.
Instead, Makhachev will face UFC veteran Bobby Green, who has stepped in as a late replacement. Yet, the 30-year-old will still be expecting a title shot with a win. Most questions towards Makhachev have turned from his main event this weekend to instead who he could be expecting to face for the title in the near future, Oliveira or Gaethje?
Makhachev: I Think Oliveira Will Submit Gaethje
At the media day for UFC Vegas 49, Makhachev says he is expecting to face Oliveira in his next fight past this weekend. When asked for his prediction on how the Brazilian defends his title, the Russian went into specifics.
“I think he’s gonna finish him. I think he gonna striking with him first round. And after, he gonna take him down. I think he’s gonna choke him,” said Makhachev.
It appears that the #4-ranked lightweight is envisioning a path to victory similar to that of Oliveira’s last title defense against Dustin Poirier. Although, it is best believed Gaethje will have some choice words for Makhachev’s prediction once he is informed of the contender’s answer.
Gaethje fell short to a submission loss the last time he fought for the title when he took on the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov. Khabib coaches and mentors Makhachev, so that may well have influenced his prediction.
Do you agree with Islam Makhachev and see Charles Oliveira submitting Justin Gaethje?