In anticipation of the upcoming lightweight title clash, Sean O'Malley is confused about the hype surrounding Islam Makhachev and admitted that he wants to see Charles Oliveira reclaim his throne in the headliner of UFC 280.
'Sugar' will compete prior to the 155lb title fight taking center stage on October 22. The bantamweight will be hoping to come away with another victory and push towards a shot at UFC gold. However, he is tasked with taking down the formidable Petr Yan, his toughest fight inside the cage so far and a tough fight even for the best out there.
During a recent interview with Helen Yee, Sean O'Malley shared his opinion on the lightweight prospect, insisting that Khabib Nurmagomedov is the sole reason Islam Makhachev has been put on a pedestal.
"I see Charles [Oliveira] marching out there with that high front knee doing his thing. Honestly, I haven't watched a ton of Islam, more of a little bit of his recent stuff, but it's crazy how hyped-up he is, literally because Khabib says how good he is. Obviously he's went out there and performed really well in his last couple of fights too, but we're so excited about this guy... We're not super hyped because of all the crazy performances he's had, it's more so just because Khabib thinks this guy's the best in the world. I would love to see Charles go out there and get the job done."
Oliveira vs. Makhachev is arguably the most highly anticipated matchup in the lightweight division since Conor McGregor faced off against Khabib Nurmagomedov four years ago.
Check out what Sean O'Malley had to say about the two men competing atop the 155lb mountain in the video below:
Is Sean O'Malley right about Islam Makhachev being overhyped?
Since the retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev has been seen by fans as 'The Eagle's successor, and many believe he will have as illustrious a career as his life-long training partner.
The 30-year-old arguably has a much more polished standup and slicker grappling than Nurmagomedov. He controlled all of his foes in an anaconda-like manner that was suffocating to watch. He toyed with jiu-jitsu elite Thiago Moises and outclassed 'Master of Sport' wrestler Arman Tsarukyan. For perspective, Petr Yan is 'Master of Sport' in boxing.
Not unlike his illustrious friend, Islam Makhachev has been tearing through the division without much effort, and caught the eye by easily disposing of both Dan Hooker and Bobby Green in his last two outings.
While he may not have big names on his resume, the lightweight has a chance to prove all doubters wrong by beating Charles Oliveira next month.