A UFC lightweight title rematch appears to be on tap to close out 2023.
Charles Oliveira’s thrilling performance against Beneil Dariush at UFC 289 this past weekend was the perfect way to rebound off his title fight loss to Islam Makhachev in late 2022. After going technique-for-technique in a ground battle, Oliveira scored a TKO by punches against Dariush, extending his record for the most finishes in the promotion at 20. Ultimately, the win will likely be enough to get Oliveira his desired rematch with Makhachev at UFC 294 this coming October.
Ahead of their first encounter, both Oliveira and Makhachev were on ultra-impressive 10-plus-fight winning streaks that had fans in the community debating who had the better stretch of success. They’ve now fought and won once each since their fight and in rematches of the highest magnitude, a lot can change. UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping proved that with his middleweight title win over Luke Rockhold in June 2016 and expects a different type of fight when the two best lightweights run things back.
“Currently, the wins that he has on his winning streak are better than Islam’s,” Bisping said of Oliveira on his YouTube channel. “But still who cares? Because Islam beat him inside the octagon and he is the champion of the g****** world.
“Who wins? The way Charles fights and walks his opponents down is very, very dangerous. However, that allows him to get caught. That’s why he lost against Islam. That’s why he has so many finishes but it’s also why he lost some fights back in the past. So I don’t know. It could go down the exact same way or we could see ‘and new,’ we could see Charles Oliveira. And I would love to see that. I would love to see that because we get a trilogy and that would just be phenomenal. It really would.”
Makhachev was met with little resistance against Oliveira the first time they fought, submitting “do Bronx” with a second-round arm-triangle choke after dropping him with a right hand. Despite Oliveira’s status as the uncrowned champion heading into fight No. 1, Makhachev was still the betting favorite and remains so at -350 to Oliveira’s +285 according to the opening odds for their unofficial rematch.
“I think Charles Oliveira is the most exciting fighter in the UFC right now,” Bisping said. “I cannot miss a single one of his fights. Him vs. Islam Makhachev, it’s gonna be a very even fight regardless of what the oddsmakers think.
“Islam, he’s the favorite and I get that. But I think this is a much, much closer fight. It could go either way. Charles is better with the striking, probably better with the submissions, Islam is better with the takedowns and the control. But he doesn’t make mistakes and he doesn’t take as many risks. That’s the much safer strategy and that’s probably why he’s 24-1 and he’s not lost since he got caught [against Adriano Martins].”
Roundtable. Who should be next to challenge Islam Makhachev?
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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
That’s so Florida.
Tito Ortiz choked out a Florida radio host (probably should have let go after the tap). pic.twitter.com/OaSCnIhgwG— Borrachinha Depot (@FullContactMTWF) June 15, 2023
Daichi Abe (6-2) vs. Igor Tanabe (2-0); Super RIZIN 2, July 30
Seika Izawa (10-0) vs. Claire Lopez (8-4); Super RIZIN 2, July 30
Oliveira is must-see TV. Gaethje is still my No. 1 in the excitement department currently and all time, but Mr. Olives is something else.
Happy Friday, lads. Loaded weekend of MMA. Thanks for reading. See you Monday.
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