Islam Makhachev will be working into his first title fight against Charles Oliveira at UFC 280 which also represents his toughest test of his professional career. However, Russian has a lot in his mind to prove on Saturday Night, when they meet at the Etihad Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Oliveira has grown into Lightweight Phenom, owning the highest number of submissions and stoppage finishes in the division but Makhachev is unfazed by that and will be looking to finish him in his own game.
Both fighters are best known for their ground work but Oliveira has grown into a complete fighter and could hold his own even on feet but Makhachev isn’t changing his game plan and will go in there with with the same strategy he has used in all his fights.
“This is my goal, finish him on the ground because I have to show all people my grappling level,” Makhachev told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s UFC 280 media day. “This is an MMA fight. We’re gonna begin in the standup, I’m gonna check his skills there. All my opponents are good, for example Drew Dober, all these guys. If I’m gonna stand with them, they can make me some trouble, but I just have to do where I’m good. Close the distance, hold him, take him down.
“I’m gonna do the same thing always, take them down, hold them, make them tired and finish him.”
Oliveira will be looking to win the title he lost on scales prior to his victory over Justin Gaethje at UFC 274. He was stripped of the UFC lightweight Champion after he came in over 0.5 pounds over the 155 Pound limit for his title defence. Makhachev hopes his upcoming opponent has a good experience at the scales this time.
“He’s the champion, but he has to show all fighters good example because you have to be professional and I hope he makes weight this time,” Makhachev said.
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