Friday, May 27, 2022

Bisping To Makhachev: You Can’t Call Charles Oliveira A Coward

Former UFC champion Michael Bisping vehemently disagrees with Islam Makhachev‘s take on Charles Oliveira’s post-UFC 274 callouts.

At last weekend’s pay-per-view, Oliveira continued his incredible run of form inside the Octagon. In the main event, “Do Bronx” submitted top contender Justin Gaethje in the very first round. But despite extending his win streak to 11, the Brazilian left Phoenix without the title after missing weight.

Nevertheless, Oliveira, like many fans and pundits, still sees himself as the top man at 155 pounds, something he’ll look to further prove by regaining the gold in a vacant championship fight later this year.

Having secured number-one contender status at UFC 274, Oliveira took to the mic to call out former two-division champion Conor McGregor. The 32-year-old has previously expressed his willingness to let McGregor jump the queue to face him. Oliveira’s pursuit of a money fight also saw him mention the name of fan-favorite Nate Diaz.

One man who isn’t happy about Oliveira’s choices is the #3-ranked lightweight Makhachev. Having staked his claim to stand opposite the Brazilian with the vacant strap on the line, the Dagestani accused Oliveira of cowardice for suggesting that he hasn’t earned a title shot whilst calling out the unranked Diaz and 1-3 lightweight McGregor.

Bisping, who knows a thing or two about opting to face a star over worthy contenders having faced middleweight newcomer Georges St-Pierre in 2017, believes it’s ludicrous to label Oliveira as “scared.”

Bisping: Oliveira Is Prize-Fighting, Not Ducking Makhachev

During a recent video uploaded to his YouTube channel, the former middleweight king assessed the situation that the lightweight division finds itself in following the May 7 PPV.

Discussing Makhachev’s latest comments, Bisping shut down any and all claims that Oliveira could be considered a “coward” after fighting three elite contenders back-to-back. For “The Count,” the now-former champ is simply doing what all fighters enter the sport for: prize-fighting.

“He (Makhachev) doesn’t really have a point. You can’t call Charles Oliveira a coward. You can’t call him a coward,” insisted Bisping. “I understand what Charles is doing. Charles, or us, as fighters, we are prizefighters, we wanna get paid. Listen, he has fought all the top guys. You can’t call a man a coward after he’s just beaten Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje in a row. You can’t say that.

“That’s three of the best fighters in the division, three of the best fights that we’ve seen in recent memory, and obviously he won all three of them, and he finished all three of them,” Bisping continued. “So what he’s trying to do is trying to get paid. Of course, he’ll get paid anyway, but he wants that mega payday. Diaz or Conor would provide that.”

Bisping also noted that should Oliveira fight and beat the returning McGregor and restore his place on the lightweight throne, top contenders like Makhachev and Beneil Dariush will still be around to challenge him.

“If he beats Conor, which I would favor him to, Beneil’s still gonna be there, Islam’s still gonna be there, all the other fighters, they’re still gonna be there. But the cash cow Conor McGregor might not be around forever… You can’t call Charles Oliveira a coward for wanting to fight Conor McGregor.”

Who would you rather see Charles Oliveira face next, Conor McGregor or Islam Makhachev?

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