“If SAMBO was easy…” Makhachev will twist Oliveira and return Khabib’s belt to Dagestan

Denis Dorofeev

Denis Dorofeev

UFC 280: Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira

Islam has a better fight than Charles. But the Brazilian is not to be underestimated.

Tournament date

The long-awaited championship fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev will take place at the UFC 280 tournament. The event itself will take place on October 22, 2022 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, a place not alien to Russian fighters. It was there last year that Makhachev ran over Dan Hooker in the first round. The start time of the tournament has not yet been announced.

Materials on the fight Oliveira – Makhachev

Handouts before the fight Oliveira – Makhachev

Oliveira was able to choke out base drummers Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje. And thus, he deserved another batch of comparisons with Khabib. Although Oliveira had to survive in recent fights, and he pulled out some fights on the underestimation of his opponents. But now Charles will have to fight a dangerous sambo wrestler and probably the strongest wrestler in the division.

At the same time, Islam has never faced such a tough opponent. Yes, he has a series of 10 victories, but there were no top opponents along the way. Even the current Dan Hooker cannot be called such, except perhaps the young Arman Tsarukyan. This year, Makhachev could test his sambo skills on the dangerous grappler Beneil Dariush, but the American fell off with an injury.

Therefore, the question still hangs in the air: what is stronger – Brazilian jiu-jitsu or combat sambo? Especially back in 2013, Khabib Nurmagomedov distinguished himself with a stunt before his fight against Thiago Tavares in Brazil, when Oryol came out with a T-shirt on which was written the phrase that became a cult: “If SAMBO was easy, it would be called jiu-jitsu.” Of course, she stirred up the public and infuriated the Brazilians.

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Photo: Josh Hedges/Getty Images

Yes, Oliveira has a great opportunity to avenge her BJJ school. However, on paper, Makhachev is quoted higher. And this is no accident, since Islam did not give its last opponents a single chance to show even the slightest worthy resistance. And Charles was repeatedly sent to the knockdown, because of which he was close to losing. And so it all comes down to the fact that the Russian will return the belt back to Dagestan.

Expert opinion

Former M-1 Challenge champion in the middle and light heavyweight divisions Vyacheslav Vasilevsky spoke in detail about the advantages of Islam over Oliveira.

“You know, Islam has a great advantage in terms of its school. Firstly, he has an excellent combat sambo base. He has very good translations and good control. And he’s quite a sensitive fighter when transitioning from punching to grappling. Therefore, Islam will have an advantage in takedowns. It’s no secret that Oliveira is a tough grappler. But I think that due to control, physical advantage and the base of combat sambo, Islam will be able to translate and dominate from above in the stalls.

There is no need to invent anything intricate. It’s a regular stand job, the way he does it, regular transfers. Moreover, Islam translates well due to steps, grabs, steps. Arsenal of takedowns [у него] very rich. And Brazilians and Americans are poorly protected from such tricks. That is, they are well protected from passes to the legs, from work to the body, but from kicks, on the contrary, they are bad. Accordingly, Islam will easily translate and control when approached.

Bellator light heavyweight champion Vadim Nemkov did not single out a clear favorite for the championship fight, but gave a slight advantage in favor of Islam.

“I can’t say for sure who will win this confrontation. Oliveira and Makhachev are universal fighters. They can both wrestle and box at a very high level. But I will root for Islam Makhachev, because he is our compatriot. I give 51:49% in favor of Islam. Well, his combat sambo is stronger than Oliveira’s jiu-jitsu.

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