Islam Makhachev has slammed Charles Oliveira ahead of the UFC lightweight title fight, calling the Brazilian’s reputation against Conor McGregor “embarrassing”.
Oliveira was stripped of his belt in May after losing weight, a day before his scheduled title defense against Justin Gaethje. Oliveira was also not eligible to regain the gold in that bout, which he won via submission in the first round to instead establish himself as the No. 1 contender.
Oliveira meets Makhachev, 30, for the vacant title at UFC 281 in Abu Dhabi in October, although the 32-year-old had hoped for a fight with former doubleweight champion McGregor.
“He tried to call [out Nate] Diaz, McGregor, but he forgets my name,” Makhachev said ESPN. “And when they ask about me, he says he needs money or something.
“But if he fights with Dustin [Poirier] or Justin Gaethje, he doesn’t think about money. Now when he says he has to fight Islam, he’s either trying to say, ‘I want to fight in Brazil, I want to fight at the end of this year, or I need some money.’”
Oliveira enters UFC 281 on an 11-fight win streak after defeating Gaethje and Poirier in his last two bouts. Meanwhile, Makhachev has won 10 fights in a row.
The Russian is a childhood friend of Khabib Nurmagomedov, who also acts as Makhachev’s coach.
Nurmagomedov preceded Oliveira as the UFC lightweight champion, relinquishing the belt in 2020 after retiring undefeated.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/ufc/makhachev-oliveira-conor-mcgregor-ufc-b2142878.html UFC: Islam Makhachev hits out at Charles Oliveira over ’embarrassing’ statement by Conor McGregor