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Morning Report: Islam Makhachev ‘very upset,’ labels Charles Oliveira’s Conor McGregor callout ‘embarrassing’

UFC Fight Night: Makhachev v Green Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Islam Makhachev can’t wait to get his hands on Charles Oliveira when the UFC returns to Fight Island.

Undeniably the two best their division has to offer, the two streaking lightweights will finally settle the score for the vacant title in the UFC 280 main event on Oct. 22. It’s been a bit of a wild and uncertain path getting to this point for each, however, and Makhachev is just relieved to have everything official after Oliveira’s recent interest in going a different, less meritocratic, direction.

“Charles is very good, he has a good win streak, he beat a lot of tough opponents, but for me, it’s embarrassing when the UFC lightweight champion asks for someone like Nate Diaz or Conor McGregor, who [last] won like five years ago,” Makhachev told DC & RC. “Nobody remembers when these guys win some fights.

“He tried to call [for] Diaz, McGregor, but he forgets my name. And when they ask about me he says he needs money or something like this. But when he fights with Dustin [Poirier] or Justin Gaethje, he doesn’t think about money. Now when he says he has to fight Islam, he either tries to say, ‘I want to fight in Brazil, I want to fight in the end of this year, or I need some money.’”

Unfortunately for “Do Bronx,” he isn’t getting his wish of fighting for a title in his home country of Brazil and furthermore will first have to get the gold back in his possession. Oliveira managed to make the wrong kind of history ahead of his last time out against Justin Gaethje in May, missing weight and becoming the first champion stripped of his title for such reasons.

Arguments were made before the Gaethje fight’s finalization that Makhachev had earned his shot with his long nine-fight win streak, which he’s since extended to 10. When the time came to put ink to paper for this inevitable clash, the Dagestan native noted that the UFC teased instead going with the man Oliveira originally won the title against, Michael Chandler.

“Yeah, [he’s making excuses],” Makhachev said. “This is embarrassing because he said Islam has to fight one more time or something like this. But UFC told him, ‘Hey if you do not take this fight, we’re going to give the chance to Michael Chandler.’ That’s why he took this fight.

“He’s lost in the UFC seven times. He’s not gonna be upset if he loses one more time. People finished him seven times in the UFC and this guy’s champion in my division. I’m very upset because of [this].”

Sometimes a rarity in today’s MMA climate, the entirety of the matchup’s intrigue hinges on the stylistic clash — despite some of the vitriol each has expressed.

Both are sensational grapplers, Makhachev with his wrestling and Oliveira utilizing nasty Brazilian jiu-jitsu. While they’ve shown to handle themselves more than serviceably on the feet as well, it’s almost a guarantee that their strengths will be tested as Makhachev never shies away from where he’s best. In the case of facing Oliveira, Makhachrv believes it’s an area that the former champion has been protected from throughout his current 11-fight run.

“Everybody who says Dustin Poirier or Justin Gaethje or other guys ... they’re all guys that are old, they have money, they don’t challenge,” Makhachev said. “We have new blood. Me, [Mateusz] Gamrot, Beneil Dariush, these are really tough guys for him. Because Dustin Poirier or Justin Gaethje, they’re never grappling, just striking. That’s why this is easy fight for him. But he knows Islam Makhachev is a very hard fight for him.

“All fighters who he beat, all striking. I’m gonna take him down very fast. Listen, Tony Ferguson had a little bit of grappling, he couldn’t finish him. Tony Ferguson was a hard fight for him. He fought all [three] rounds because Tony Ferguson knows something about grappling, not too much, but he knows something.”


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VIDEO STEW

MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck chats with Rose Namajunas.

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Top Finishes: Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera

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LISTEN UP

Fighter vs. Writer. MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin chats with Michael Chandler.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Congrats, dad!

The fighting straws.

Damn...

No more nonsense...

At least he’s having fun with it.

Bold.

Quite a callout.

TBD...

Poster time.

Keeping up with the Sankos.

Goddess of war.

Cruz Control.

Respect.

Patience.

Fight about it.

Back again.

R.I.P.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Aaron Pico (10-3) vs. Jeremy Kennedy (11-1); Bellator 286, Oct. 1

Juan Archuleta (25-4) vs. Enrique Barzola (18-6-2); Bellator 286, Oct. 1

Kleydson Rodrigues (7-2) vs. Vinicius Salvador (14-4); UFC Fight Night, Oct. 29


FINAL THOUGHTS

Islam makes some solid points. But I refuse to bet against Charlie O. at this point, I really do. I’m sure Islam will pound away on Oliveira for a decent portion of the fight, but in typical fashion, watch him whip out a submission and rally when you think he’s out. It’s just too fun of a matchup and it should be here yesterday.

Thanks for reading!


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who wins this weekend?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Dominick Cruz
    (314 votes)
  • 60%
    Marlon "Chito" Vera
    (482 votes)
796 votes total Vote Now

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