Thursday, June 23, 2022

Khabib: Oliveira Is Still Champion, But He’s Not Undisputed

Former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is impressed by Charles Oliveira but doesn’t believe there aren’t question marks with his standing in the UFC.

Oliveira is fresh off of his win over Justin Gaethje in the UFC 274 headliner. He was forced to vacate the title ahead of fight night due to missing championship weight.

While Oliveira isn’t technically the lightweight titleholder, many fans and media view him as the UFC lightweight champion. He’s now the No. 1 contender and will likely compete for the vacant title later this year.

Oliveira has impressed Nurmagomedov with his series of recent performances, but not with his strength of schedule.

During a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Nurmagomedov explained his position regarding Oliveira.

“I believe he is champion. I believe. Even this — people talk about half-pound (weight miss), I believe he deserves, right now, this moment, he deserves to be champion,” Nurmagomedov said of Oliveira. “He is doing very good job, you know? But he is not undisputed, brother. When I finished, I was undisputed. I fight with Conor, I fight with interim champ Dustin Poirier, interim champ Justin Gaethje… These guys (were) on different time, not like when they fight versus Charles Oliveira.

“Charles is champion. He say, ‘We have champion, his name is Charles Oliveira.’ I agree with him. But he’s not undisputed, brother. He’s not undisputed. “

Nurmagomedov has been vocal in his stance for his protégé Islam Makhachev to get the next title shot against Oliveira. However, UFC President Dana White has previously said that Makhachev will need to fight and defeat Beneil Dariush in a rescheduled bout first before a shot at the belt.

Oliveira has recently drawn some comparisons to Nurmagomedov during his dominant run, but Nurmagomedov has denied any similarities between himself and the top lightweight contender.

Oliveira has emerged as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and will look to reclaim the 155lb throne later this year. But according to Nurmagomedov, Oliveira still has some work to do to earn the ‘undisputed’ moniker.

Do you agree with Khabib Nurmagomedov on Charles Oliveira?

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