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Daniel Cormier thinks Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev deserve respect as Lightweight contenders

UFC 256: Ferguson v Oliveira
UFC 256: Ferguson v Oliveira
Modified 31 Dec 2020, 07:38 IST

Daniel Cormier believes that Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev should be considered as contenders for the UFC Lightweight championship. Although the talk lately has been condensed in Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier, and Conor McGregor, the analyst reminded UFC about other serious contenders.

Talking with the South China Morning Post, Cormier examined Nurmagomedov's statement that the weight class's future is either on McGregor's or Poirier's hands.

"You heard what he said. He thinks that they could eventually succeed him. I think he listed three guys: Conor [MgGregor], Dustin [Poirier], and Islam Makhachev. He thinks those are the top three guys in the weight class. And I don't think he said they were going to give his title to the winner in January. I think he was saying [that] down the line, he thinks that these three guys are probably in the running or should be considered lead for that bill," said Cormier. (H/T Sportskeeda for quotes)

The former UFC double-champion that became ESPN's analyst after retiring believes that other fighters in the division are not considered for the title shot as seriously as they should.

"But let's not forget about Charles Olivera. I mean, after what he did to Tony Ferguson, this dude is the real deal. So I think that you add him to the mix, but I think that Khabib is spot on. Who knows the division better than the guy that is the champion and has been the champ for the last couple of years? So, yeah, I think those guys are at the top of the heap in terms of who's going to challenge for that title very soon," analyzed Cormier.

Besides Oliveira, who has been trying to scoop his place in the title fight since his dominant win over Tony Ferguson in UFC 256, Cormier agrees with Nurmagomedov on Islam Makhachev's chances of becoming a future UFC Lightweight champion.

"[I would like to see] Islam Makhachev [step in for the title]. I truly do [want it], but not only because he is one of my friends and teammates, but I really believe that Islam Makhachev is as talented as anyone in the world. And he does have the fighting style to present a lot of problems for people," Cormier said.

Daniel Cormier thinks that Islam Makhachev is underestimated because of his low profile

Islam Makhachev throwing a kick
Islam Makhachev throwing a kick

In the same interview with the South China Morning Post, Daniel Cormier analyzed UFC Lightweight contender Islam Makhachev's abilities and title chances.

The ESPN analyst compared Makhachev to the unbeaten champion of the weight class Khabib Nurmagomedov, and how he is even more refined than The Eagle in some aspects of mixed martial arts.

"You know, I think that because of the way that he came into the UFC, he had lost to Adriano Martinez, way back in the day, in his second UFC fight, and he doesn't really jump off the page as much as Khabib does, right? His style doesn't seem as aggressive, but trust me, he has all the same abilities. And in the stand-up, he is very, very well rounded and very skilled in that area of mixed martial arts," examined Cormier. "And as you guys saw early in Khabib's career, he struggled there right he's very. He wasn't polished; he's much more polished today. Islam is there already and ready to really truly make a run at the top of the division, but you know those guys are tough, you know, Oliveira is tough. I mean, Islam Makhachev has a very difficult fight in front of him when he fights Drew Dober in his next appearance."

Who would you like to see as the new UFC Lightweight champion? Sound off in the comments.

Published 31 Dec 2020, 07:38 IST
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