Charles Oliveira aims to become a two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion at UFC 294 next month (Sat., Oct. 21, 2023).
UFC 280 in October 2022 hosted the highly-anticipated showdown between the two very best 155-pound fighters on the planet. Oliveira and Makhachev were finally set to collide and unfortunately for “Do Bronx,” he found minimal success en route to a heartbreaking second round arm triangle choke defeat (watch highlights).
Each has won one fight since their initial encounter and will rematch once again with gold on the line. Oliveira’s first round technical knockout of top contender, Beneil Dariush, secured him another title shot at UFC 289 in June 2022 (watch highlights), and this time around, his opposition is expecting him to hone things in more so than last time, according to Makhachev’s coach at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), Javier Mendez.
“The fire in Oliveira. He’s going to be more motivated than ever because he misses being the champion, he misses that limelight, and his fight with Dariush told you that, that he’s serious,” Mendez told Lord Ping. “He did things to Dariush that we didn’t think was going to happen. He just totally destroyed him everywhere. So this is a guy more determined than ever. I’m not saying the first time around he underestimated Islam, he did not. But I think he might have been more confident than he should of, so this time around he’s not going to be overconfident, and he knows Islam is the most dangerous guy he’s fought.”
Makhachev defended his title successfully for the first time in early 2023, defeating UFC Featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, via a hard-fought unanimous decision (watch highlights). Heading into their first bout, Makhachev and Oliveira each held the longest winning streaks in divisional history at 10 and 11, respectively.
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