UFC MMAnytt Charles Oliveira Khabib Islam Makhachev (USA Today Sports)

Former UFC Champ Bisping: Oliveira could replace Khabib as lightweight GOAT!

✔ Michael Bisping: "Is Charles Oliveira, in fact, the greatest lightweight of all time?"

UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping believes that if Charles Oliveira defeats Islam Makhachev at UFC 280 he could very well replace Khabib Nurmagomedov as the lightweight GOAT! Bisping believes it all comes down to the result of his fight at UFC 280 this weekend:

“Is Charles Oliveira, in fact, the greatest lightweight of all time? Because he might just be. It all depends on what happens in Abu Dhabi.”

Oliveira will fight for the title that he was stripped of in May prior to his fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 after a controversial weigh-in. Despite the loss of his title, Oliveira ended up defeating Gaethje in the first round. At UFC 280, Oliveira will take on Makhachev in a chance to reclaim his title. Bisping says:

“Greatest lightweight of all time? I think if Charles beats Islam this weekend, I think that belongs to Charles Oliveira now. I really do. I think he will have surpassed him simply because he’s taken out all the top contenders. And it’s not Khabib’s fault, but you cannot deny the numbers, the momentum, the history that Oliveira’s making.”

There is no doubt that Nurmagomedov’s record is impressive! He finished his career with an undefeated record of 29-0 and 13-0 in the UFC before his retirement in 2020. Despite, Bisping’s prediction, he showered praise on Nurmagomedov:

“Here’s the case for Khabib: his record, 29-0, 13-0 in the UFC, and he was one of the most dominant fighters that the UFC had ever seen. In 60 career rounds, this man only lost two rounds: Round 1 against Justin Gaethje, very, very close, and Round 3 against Conor McGregor. Again, very, very close. He was never even knocked down, and he was never even rocked.”

If Nurmagomedov retired with such an impressive record, how is it that Bisping concludes that Oliveira can surpass him as the lightweight GOAT?

“All we ever saw was him win and dominate people, but he retired at 32 years old after three title defenses and two-and-a-half-years as champion of the world. That’s fantastic, but if he had stuck around longer, would we have seen him lose the belt? Would we have seen him get challenged? We’ll never know, and that is one of the real arguments for Khabib not being the pound-for-pound No. 1. …”

In Bisping’s opinion, it was ultimately Nurmagomedov’s early retirement that failed to secure his place as the lightweight GOAT. Oliveira is on an 11-fight winning streak going into UFC 280. His wins include all the top contenders – Gaethje, Poirier, Michael Chandler, Tony Ferguson, and Kevin Lee. Oliveira also holds the UFC records for most submissions and stoppage victories.

What do you think? Can Oliveira replace Nurmagomedov as the lightweight G.O.A.T. if he reclaims his title this weekend?


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