clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Morning Report: Daniel Cormier: Islam Makhachev had ‘one of the most dominant performances’ ever for a title challenger


At UFC 280, Islam Makhachev proved to everyone just how legit he is.

This past weekend’s main event featured one of the most anticipated UFC title fights in recent memory. Lightweight’s most impressive streak holders, Makhachev and former champion Charles Oliveira, finally got to go at it, and unfortunately for Oliveira, it wasn’t as competitive as he’d have liked it to be.

Calling the action that night was Makhachev’s old American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) teammate Daniel Cormier. Even though he has firsthand experience with Makhachev in the training room, Cormier was still wildly surprised by the showing under the brightest spotlight.

“He did it to a Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira who was in shape, who was prepared, but he knew exactly what he needed to do and I thought that was shown very early in the fight,” Cormier said on DC & RC.

“I’ve been in this kid’s arm triangle. It’s so tight. The moment he was able to clear guard, Charles Oliveira tapped, and I’m telling you, it was one of the most dominant performances that we’ve ever seen from a challenger.”

Oliveira had some moments early on and per UFC Stats managed to land the most significant strikes of any Makhachev opponent, albeit only 19. Ultimately, Makhachev’s phenomenal wrestling pressure was too much to overcome for the majority of the bout.

“Do Bronx’s” incredible submission threats were shut down with relative ease before he got dropped in the second round and finished with an arm triangle choke. Makhachev did exactly what he said he was going to do and now the community is largely in agreement that a lengthy new era atop the perpetually stacked 155-pound weight class could be set to unfold.

“I’ll say this without a shadow of a doubt about Islam,” Cormier said. “He’s always been the best guy in the room. We all thought if he could make the same type of skill and show the way that he shows in the practice room in the octagon, he would be the best in the world. Now, I’m not saying he’s better than Khabib [Nurmagomedov], I’m just saying he was just always so good. But he was never able to just take it and do it in the octagon as well as he did it inside of the gym.

“The one thing that was surprising to me was that when I talk to these guys ... and I’m talking Charles, Islam, Aljo, T.J. Dillashaw, Sean O’Malley, and Petr Yan, I had never seen six guys that were so sure they were gonna win. Charles Oliveira thought he was gonna knock that guy out in the first round. Islam Makhachev right away said, ‘I’m gonna submit Charles Oliveira.’ Even I when talking to him I was like, ‘Islam, you cannot believe you’re just gonna walk through this dude.’”


End. Jose Aldo explains why no opponent would convince him to push back MMA retirement

Bantamweight. Marlon Vera: Sean O’Malley got ‘a gift decision’ over Petr Yan, but still deserves the next title shot

Trouble. Boxing judge accused of fight fixing by Jake Paul joins Eddie Hearn in $100M defamation lawsuit, seeks separate damages

Matchup. Anthony Smith responds to callout from Nikita Krylov: ‘Yes, I’m totally down

Waiting. Dana White, USADA confirm Conor McGregor needs 6 months of drug testing before UFC return

Anticipation. Jon Jones says he’s ‘preparing to fightStipe Miocic at UFC 282: ‘I’m ready to compete!’

Support. Calvin Kattar roots for Alexander Volkanovski over Islam Makhachev: ‘He’s got a chance against everybody

Problematic. Anderson Silva’s last sparring session has controversial end


The MMA Hour.

Free fight.

Khalil’s journey.

Sterling’s final UFC 280 BTS.

Felder and Chiesa talk UFC 280.


Fighter vs. Writer. MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin chats with Alan Jouban and Matt Brown.

Rankings Show. MMA Fighting’s Shaun Al-Shatti, Alexander K. Lee, Mike Heck, and Jed Meshew discuss the latest movement.


He handled it well.

Let’s go.

Contest time.


Getting creative with the nicknames.

Fair point.


There it is.

Strong season.

Band work.


Joshua Weems (10-2) vs. Christian Rodriguez (7-1); UFC Vegas 63, Oct. 29


I’m not sure it’s No. 1, but Makhachev’s win is definitely up there in this conversation.

Thanks for reading!



Who wins this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Calvin Kattar
    (254 votes)
  • 52%
    Arnold Allen
    (284 votes)
538 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting