“I’d bet on Charles” – Adriano Martins, only fighter to have beaten Islam Makhachev bets against him winning at UFC 280

“I’d bet on Charles” – Adriano Martins, only fighter to have beaten Islam Makhachev bets against him winning at UFC 280

Islam Makhachev (L), Adriano Martins (C) and Charles Oliveira (R)

Islam Makhachev has a near-perfect MMA record. It stands at 22-1 heading to Abu Dhabi, where he takes on Charles Oliveira for the lightweight belt.

Referred to as the “bogeyman” of the lightweight division, due to fighters being hesitant to accept a fight against him, Makhachev has beaten a decent number of good fighters. In his resume, the names that stand out are Dan Hooker, Drew Dober, Arman Tsarukyan and most recently, Bobby Green.

However, there is a solitary blemish on his record. Unlike his mentor and close friend Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev doesn’t possess an unbeaten record. Turning the clock back to 2015, he suffered a KO loss to Adriano Martins.

Now, the only man to have beaten him has spoken out about Makhachev’s chances going into the title bout at UFC 280. He said, “Charles doesn’t have anything to prove to anyone. He’s faced everyone at featherweight and lightweight, he’s in the UFC for 11 years, and has beaten a lot of tough people. Makhachev, although he’s tough and could be a champion in the future, he still has a lot to prove.

He continued, “Oliveira is unpredictable and can knock him out and can submit him, and can take a beating. I’d bet on Charles.”

The high praise for Charles Oliveira is understandable given the nature of his achievements in the last couple of years. However, a detail to note is that Martins and Oliveira used to be teammates.

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A win in Abu Dhabi could end questions regarding Islam Makhachev’s title candidature  

Islam Makhachev
Islam Makhachev

Charles Oliveira goes into UFC 280 the underdog to win the title. However, that might be slightly confusing given the fact that over the span of a year and a half, he has beaten Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.

On the other hand, Islam Makhachev has looked relatively unbothered over the course of his last few fights. His triangle armbar submission of Dan Hooker not only stunned the commentators but also silenced his critics. However, experts, fighters and fans would’ve liked to see more before Makhachev was afforded the hype and the title shot.

This is exemplified by Michael Chandler. Speaking to Ariel Helwani on the MMA hour, he said, “I think Charles wins that fight. I think it’s crazy that Islam is a favorite… Aside from that [missing weight at UFC 274], he’s looked very, very good.

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The duo match-up as the main event of the packed UFC 280 card. If Islam Makhachev were to beat Charles Oliveira soundly, there possibly would be no more doubt as to his credentials.

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