Media Charles Oliveira picks Islam Makhachev to defeat both Poirier & Tsarukyan

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Charles Oliveira expects Islam Makhachev to remain UFC lightweight champion against Dustin Poirier — and, potentially, Arman Tsarukyan.

Makhachev is slated to face Poirier in the main event of UFC 302 on Saturday, and Oliveira doesn’t favor “The Diamond” in a five-round clash. Poirier has only lost four times since moving up to lightweight in 2015, three of those being championship bouts against Khabib Nurmagomedov, Justin Gaethje (for the BMF title), and Oliveira.

“Every striker that faces Islam is going to be the same thing, [Makhachev] will take you down and have bigger chances at winning,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting. “But we’re talking about MMA, and one hand, one strike that lands can definitely get you the victory.

“Dustin Poirier has shown that in his last fight, he’s shown that many times already. He has heavy hands and hits hard, so he definitely can knock him out, but I think Islam remains as champion.”

Oliveira, who holds a submission win over Poirier back when he was the 155-pound champion and is coming off of a close split decision loss to Tsarukyan at UFC 300, doesn’t see Tsarukyan as a big threat to Makhachev “because Islam is evolving on the feet and is dangerous on the ground with submissions.”

“Arman is a guy that takes you down and holds you there the entire time,” Oliveira said. “No way. It’s not a fight he can win.”

“Of course, I’ve just said this and I can’t backtrack, we’re talking about MMA and it’s very unpredictable,” he continued. “A guy closes his eyes and throws a hand that lands, you’re knocked out. He throws a kick that lands, you shoot for a takedown and end up in a submission. MMA is unpredictable, but I think Islam is way more experienced, has more focus, more hunger, and is much stronger than Arman.”


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how the hell did oliveira fight at feather weight. he is not the most thick build fighter but he sure is tall and has muscles. it must have been a gruesome weight cut to 145
 
yes true but still. he towers over swanson and swanson is not that small.

oliveira now has to work hard to cut to light weight and if i remember correctly he fought at light weight first, moved to feather weight and later on got back to light weight again and since then got better and better. I'm inclined to believe that the move down to feather weight was a bad idea
 
Of course, Arman is the Wish version of Islam and Poirier can't grapple with Islam. <Fedor23>
 
I tend to agree, but will never speak in absolutes when it comes to the fight game.

Anything can happen on a given night. Outside of freaks of nature, the best fighters can have an off night, or a challenger can have the performance of a lifetime.

Strickland vs Izzy was a recent example.

Most of us thought Adesanya would run through and make light work of Sean.
 
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