Charles Oliveira’s wrestling coach Alireza Noei believes UFC 280 opponent Islam Makhachev is one of the best wrestlers in MMA.
So good, in fact, that Noei believes the No. 4-ranked lightweight and top UFC contender may have surpassed his mentor and coach, Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Nurmagomedov, the former UFC lightweight champion, is considered by many to be one of the most dominant wrestlers in mixed martial arts history, having manhandled and submitted the likes of Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje, and Dustin Poirier, to name a few.
However Makhachev boasts an impressive resume of his own (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) and has demonstrated a similar ability to take down and dominate his opponents at will, winning his last four fights via stoppage.
“Let’s begin with the wrestling of Dagestan, Russian wrestling, 80% of wrestling of Russia comes from there. The Japanese wrestling that is called judo is also, you can ask the Judokas, Dagestan has really good Judokas,” Noei said in an interview with PVZ (h/t MiddleEasy). “World champions, Olympic champions, just like the wrestlers. Everyone from Dagestan knows wrestling. For example here in Brazil almost half of the people know wrestling but in Dagestan almost 100% know it, girls, women, men, everyone knows it. Even someone that doesn’t fight knows wrestling at least knows two or three wrestling coaches. Dagestan is a pool of wrestling.”
“Charles‘s adversary Islam Makhachev is very good at wrestling,” he added. “I think even better than Khabib which is another athlete from Dagestan. He is better, certainly, of course, because he is a wrestler Khabib isn’t. Khabib is a Sambo fighter Islam has also done Sambo but he is a wrestler first and then a Sambo fighter and then an MMA fighter.”
As highly touted a wrestler Makhachev is, Noei claims Oliveira is more than prepared for Islam’s wrestling at UFC 280 and that he doesn’t expect ‘Do Bronx’ to get taken down once, predicting a submission victory for the former champ.
“We are working in all techniques, but I really don’t think Islam will take him down,” told Sherdog. “In case he takes Charles down, it will not be so easy to stabilize [him] like other opponents he faced. Charles submitting [Makhachev] in the second round, or winning via decision,” Noei concluded with the utmost of confidence.”
UFC 280: Oliveira vs. Makhavhev takes place next month, Oct. 22, at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
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