Charles Oliveira has picked Islam Makhachev to beat Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284, but he is not writing Volkanovski off completely.
“They are two great fighters,” Oliveira, the former UFC lightweight king, said during a recent interview with Super Lutas (h/t Andrew Whitelaw). “Alex is a fighter that defends takedowns well. He hits and kicks very hard. On the other side, Islam has very good takedowns. When he gets you down, he puts on the pressure.”
‘Do Bronx’ went on to say that he thinks Makhachev will win while acknowledging that Volkanovski, who is moving up in weight, could pull off the upset if he defends the takedowns and connect with his hands.
“But if Volkanovski defends the takedowns in the first round and connects with the hands…[shakes head in approval that Volkanovski has a chance].”
Oliveira is no stranger to Makhachev, as the two faced off at UFC 280, with Makhachev winning via submission. The Brazilian admitted that the latter was better than him that night and vowed to return to the Octagon “10 times stronger”, targeting a comeback in 2023.
UFC 284: Makhachev vs. Volkanovski takes place on Feb. 12 at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.
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