Makhachev will face Charles Oliveira in the UFC 280 headliner on Oct. 22. The two lightweights will square off for the now-vacant lightweight title after Oliveira’s pre-UFC 274 weight miss earlier this year.
Makhachev believes Oliveira won’t show up to UFC 280 and that the UFC will need to initiate a backup plan for the main event. Beneil Dariush is the official backup for Makhachev/Oliveira, as he’s set to face Mateusz Gamrot on the main card.
While Dariush is arguably the more logical option for the ‘next man up’ to Oliveira, Makhachev has another willing adversary in Volkanovski.
Islam Makhachev Has Another Option If Charles Oliveira Prophecy Comes True
In a recent tweet, Volkanovski assured Makhachev of his planned attendance at UFC 280.
“Don’t worry brother, I’ll be there,” Volkanovski assured.
Shortly after getting word of Volkanovski’s tweet, Makhachev responded in kind.
“Good to know,” Makhachev replied.
Makhachev earned the lightweight title shot following 10 straight victories, most recently over Bobby Green and Dan Hooker. A protégé of Khabib Nurmagomedov, he aims to become the next Dagestani UFC champion.
Volkanovski has hinted at a move to lightweight for the chance to become a two-division UFC champion. He called for the shot against the Oliveira/Makhachev winner shortly after his latest featherweight title defense against Max Holloway.
While Oliveira hasn’t landed in Abu Dhabi for UFC 280 yet, he hasn’t announced anything that resembles Makhachev’s recent claims. Despite previous reluctance, he accepted a fight with Makhachev in Abu Dhabi where Makhachev will undoubtedly have the support of the crowd.
Any concerns that Makhachev has had about a last-minute shakeup at UFC 280 have seemed to be relieved with Dariush and Volkanovski as backup options.
What is your prediction for Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev?