Can Oliveira reclaim his throne for UFC 294? UFC lightweight rematch in Abu Dhabi hints at redemption
Charles Oliveira seeks redemption in Abu Dhabi rematch against dominant lightweight champ Makhachev.
The UFC is making its return to Abu Dhabi for an eagerly anticipated rematch in the lightweight division on October 21. This showdown features the reigning champion, Islam Makhachev, facing off against the Brazilian sensation, Charles Oliveira.
In their last encounter, Islam emerged victorious with a second-round submission to claim the title. Ever Since then, both fighters have continued to impress.
Islam has an impressive 12-fight win streak, making it the third-longest in lightweight history and the longest active streak in the UFC. He hasn't tasted defeat since 2015, and with each fight, he appears to be improving, having finished five of his last six opponents.
Post the duo's fight, after Islam claimed the undisputed UFC lightweight champion of the world title, he stated, "I always knew it was never going to be an easy fight (referring to fighting with Charles Oliveira) because this guy is a warrior and he always pushes his opponent." showing immense respect to his opponent.
In their previous encounter, Islam dominated in both striking and grappling. Notably, the most success Charles had was when he pressured Islam on the feet, forcing him backward. Whenever Islam closed the distance and initiated a clinch, he was able to take Charles down and control the fight.
Charles took a tough loss in his first fight against Islam; he went on to mention in his post-press conference, “Tonight Islam was better than I was; he was doing his game; he was able to impose his rythm and do what he wanted to do tonight; Islam was better than I was.” Showing true sportsmanship.
Charles recent fights against Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler, and Beneil Dariush showcased his ability to find his range and apply relentless pressure, overwhelming opponents with diverse striking and surprising power.
Against Makhachev, Charles should look to press forward, establish his range early, and choose his moments to exert energy for maximum damage.
In their previous encounter, it was a flying knee attempt that led to Makhachev knocking him down and securing a submission. Charles has shown that he doesn't need flashy moves to hurt his opponents, so a more cautious approach focusing on the basics could prove more effective this time.
Fans are thrilled for this rematch, and only time will tell whether history will repeat itself or if Charles will prove otherwise why this title is more deserving to him.