Charles Oliveira is confident in his ground game going into UFC 280.
Charles Oliveira is set to make his return to the Octagon. The former champion will be looking to regain his lost title at the UFC 280 event taking place in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 22. His opponent will be Islam Makhachev, a known sambo world champion and current #4 contender in the lightweight division.
Makhachev trains under the tutelage of former champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and like his mentor, Makhachev is very dangerous on the ground. This is not rustling the feathers of Oliveira, who is a black belt in Brazilain jiu-jitsu.
“I’m going to his home, where they wanted the fight, where they think they will beat me,” Oliveira said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca. “I know I’m the biggest problem of this division. No one’s dumb, right? Every guy Islam fought was a striker and he took them down, and I went toe to toe with every guy I fought and only took them down to make things happen after I hurt them on the feet. Islam is fighting the worst problem of the division, Charles Oliveira.
“Want to start the fight on the ground? I’ll start playing guard. It won’t make any difference to me. Again, I’m telling everyone this, I’m the division’s biggest problem and you’re not understanding. I don’t care who it is and when it is. If you want to trade on the feet, come for it, I have firepower in my hands. If you want to take me down, do it.”
Oliveira Is Confident In His Ground Game And Takedown Defense
Oliveira lost his title when he missed weight at UFC 274 but went on to win that fight. This bout will be for the vacant belt and Oliveira is ready to do whatever it takes to get the strap back around his waist.
Since coming to the UFC, Makhachev has won five fights by way of submission. That does not mean he cannot stand and bang, as he also has three KO/TKO finishes in his UFC career.
“When you’re fighting someone that will only take you down, you have to train what you do best,” Oliveira said. “People don’t get it, I don’t know if they’re stupid or dumb. Islam has some striking, but he takes everybody down.
“Every guy he’s fought are strikers who were afraid of getting taken down. I’m not afraid of getting taken down. Islam has a lot to worry about what he’s going to do. I have no weight over me, nothing. I’m 100 percent at what he does best. I have the record for most submissions in [UFC] history and I have firepower in my hands.”
Oliveira is a dangerous fighter anywhere. He holds ten finishes in his last 11 fights and most of them were submissions as well. The 2022 ESPN Fighter of the Year is looking to end the hype train of Makhachev while getting himself back on top of a stacked 155-pound division.
Do you think Oliveira can handle the ground game and takedowns of Islam Makhachev?