Islam Makhachev’s coach, Javier Mendez, commented on the statement of Charles Oliveira, who said that he was not ready to fight the Russian in October, asking to postpone the title fight to November or December.
“Oliveira says that he wants to fight in November or December, but it’s not up to him to decide when he fights for the title – it’s up to the UFC,” MMAFighting quotes an American specialist. “I know that the fight of Islam is scheduled for October 21 because it is needed in Abu Dhabi. It makes sense, one hundred percent. Who is the rival? I don’t know. It could still be Oliveira. It is possible that he will say, ‘It doesn’t matter – I will fight him in Abu Dhabi’, so we’ll see.”
Charles Oliveira emerged as a top contender to fight the reigning UFC lightweight champion a month ago, after making short work of Benil Dariush in a challenge bout.
In addition to the Brazilian, the Russian’s potential rivals are the reigning UFC featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, as well as the winner of the duel between Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje, which will take place on July 29 at UFC 291 in Salt Lake City.
The least likely option is to fight reigning UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards, who has spoken about wanting to defend his title on October 21 at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi.