KARACHI: Brazilian UFC fighter Charles Oliveira feels that Islam Makhachev’s title shot against him at UFC 280 is solely due to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s support.
On Saturday night at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, Oliveira and Makhachev compete for the vacant lightweight championship.
2020 saw Nurmagomedov resign as the undisputed lightweight champion of the UFC, and he is currently working with Makhachev and other competitors as a coach.
“This fight is only happening because of him,” Oliveira said of Nurmagomedov. “If it was any other guy, [Makhachev] would have to walk the walk that I had to walk, knocking on people’s doors, trying to get to a top five [opponent]”.
In the UFC, Makhachev is unbeaten in ten straight matches and has only once lost.
Oliveira lost the championship in May after failing to make weight at UFC 274, and Makhachev was granted the go-ahead to contend for the vacant crown despite having yet to face a top-five opponent.