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

Khabib predicts crazy outcome ahead of UFC 280: Makhachev WON’T fight Oliveira!

✔ The UFC has a replacement set ahead of the Abu Dhabi card!

Former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will be in attendance at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi on October 22. But even though his teammate Islam Makhachev (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) and former UFC champion Charles Oliveira (33-8 MMA, 21-8 UFC) are set for the title bout, Khabib believes Makhachev will actually face a different fighter!

“I just think Charles Oliveira will not show up in Abu Dhabi and the UFC will replace Charles with Beneil Dariush,” Khabib wrote on Twitter. Regardless of who the opponent will be, Makhachev is on his way to becoming the best in the world.”

Makhachev was booked to fight Beneil Dariush in February but a freak injury put a stop to the lightweight clash. Ahead of Makhachev vs Dariush, it was thought that the winner would get the next title shot, something that happened after Makhachev defeated Dariush’s replacement Bobby Green. Dariush is also set to compete at UFC 280 as he faces Mateusz Gamrot. Dariush recently revealed that the UFC will give him the chance to fight for the belt if something would happen to Oliveira or Makhachev.

“That’s what (my manager) Ali [Abdelaziz] told me, I was the backup for this,” Dariush revealed to MMA Fighting. “If something goes wrong, they would put me in.”

Since Khabib retired, the lightweight belt has mostly belonged to Oliveira. The Brazilian UFC veteran faced Michael Chandler in a title bout for the vacant lightweight belt in May 2021 and finished the American in the second round. Oliveira then defended the belt against Dustin Poirier but lost his title ahead of his title defense against Justin Gaethje as he missed the weight limit. Although Oliveira finished Gaethje, he was not crowned champion afterwards.

Hopefully everything will go as planned for the Abu Dhabi event. There are no indications that Oliveira will withdraw from the lightweight clash – quite the opposite! “Do Bronx” Oliveira has taken note of Khabib’s previous comments and has challenged both Makhachev and Khabib.

“I’ll beat [Makhachev]. So who knows, maybe you come of retirement and come too?!” Oliveira told AG Fight of Khabib, who retired in 2020. Each one says what they want. I am the division’s problem. I have one of the best jiu-jitsu [games] in the division and in the UFC. I think these guys are talking too much. They want to get in my mind, but that’s not possible.”
“The guy was champion, 29 wins in a row, and never said anything. He always sold the fight in a good way, really damn well and today he is always talking a lot. If it’s to talk, I’m gonna say it. I’ll beat Islam Makhachev and then challenge Khabib to come back from retirement. It’s the fight everyone will want to see. Isn’t that what everyone will want to see? Everyone says Khabib is fucking tough. I respect him a lot, but lately, he’s been talking too much.”


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