As the main event of UFC 280 on October 22 in Abu Dhabi, Makhachev (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) will take on Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title. Even though Oliveira isn’t the champion right now, he has won 11 in a row and has knocked out Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje in title bouts.
Several opponents have enjoyed brief periods of success against Oliveira (33-8 MMA, 21-8 UFC), but were ultimately defeated. Nonetheless, for Cejudo, the answer is clear: wrestling is the key to victory in the ring.
“If there’s anybody that could beat Charles Oliveira, his name is Islam Makhachev because he has that one solid style,” Cejudo said.
“Same reason why I beat Demetrious Johnson: My wrestling overwhelmed whatever it is that he was bringing to the table, and wrestling can be your safety net. One solid base like wrestling could probably neutralize anything that any martial arts can bring to the table.”
Makhachev is a -180 betting favorite at the Tipico Sportsbook. As a +140 underdog, Oliveira has a lot to prove in order to win the title fight at Etihad Arena.