With the highly anticipated lightweight title clash between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira fast approaching, Robert Whittaker has given his prediction on the winner of the matchup, insisting that the Brazilian's confidence may be his downfall.
'Do Bronx' is heading into this one on the back of 11 straight victories inside the octagon and hopes to reclaim his place at the head of the lightweight table next month. Despite winning against Justin Gaethje following their three-minute war, the Chute Boxe Academy representative was forced to give up his title due to missing weight.
While discussing the brawl on James Lynch's MMA Pro Picks, Robert Whittaker argued that Charles Oliveira's willingness to go to the ground and use his jiu-jitsu could cost him in a fight against someone with grappling credentials like Islam Makhachev:
"If I was a betting man, [I'd pick] Makhachev, just because of the fact that Oliveira can be taken down because he has such faith in his jiu-jitsu game, especially defensive jiu-jitsu, playing off his back. He's so good at straight-line attacks defensively, like his knees and his elbows and his strikes that stops people from getting in... But Makhachev's wrestling and grappling is obviously top, top tier."
Islam Makhachev has shown his grappling prowess inside the octagon and is arguably as dominant on the ground as his friend and former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was.
Check out what Robert Whittaker thinks about the lightweight title bout in the video below:
Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira and the best of UFC 280
UFC 280 is shaping up to be one of the best cards put together in recent years. Having two of the greatest active fighters in the company headline the event only elevates this card.
Alongside the main event, we have the bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling stepping into the octagon to make his second defense of his belt against the tricky T.J. Dillashaw.
Another huge fight at 135lbs sees Petr Yan welcome No.13-ranked Sean O'Malley to the elite level as the two plan to showcase their striking in the center of the cage.
Championship implications are on the line when Beneil Dariush faces Mateusz Gamrot. Welterweights Belal Muhammad and Sean Brady also prepare to test who is the more well-rounded martial artist, and we see the return of Brazilian sensation Caio Borralho when he collides with Makhmud Muradov in the 185lbs division.