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"There's no black belts in striking" - Chael Sonnen refuses to dismiss Islam Makhachev's knockout power against Charles Oliveira

Chael Sonnen (L), Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev (R) (via @charlesdobronxs on Instagram)
Chael Sonnen (L), Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev (R) (via @charlesdobronxs on Instagram)

Chael Sonnen is unwilling to overlook Islam's Makhachev's striking game against Charles Oliveira. Sonnen understands that most fans expect 'do Bronx' to have more success on the feet as they've seen him in more stand-up exchanges than his Dagestani opponent.

However, 'The American Gangster' noted that there's no belt-system in the striking arts to determine a fighter's acumen. According to Sonnen, Makhachev might be well prepared to strike against Oliveira even though he might not look as polished and comfortable on the feet as the Brazilian.

The former UFC middleweight recently said on his YouTube channel:

"We do always lean to, 'I've seen Oliveira do more on his feet than I've seen Islam. And therefore Oliveira is better'. It really doesn't matter... There's no black belts in striking... If I set you up and I do something beautiful, put my left hand right on your face, good for me. If you walk straight into me with no setup or understanding whatsoever and you punch me on the face with your left hand, we're even ... I do see where Charles is favored on his feet. I just wanna push back a little bit... we don't actually know. We've not actually seen Islam there."

Watch Sonnen's YouTube video below:

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Daniel Cormier warns Islam Makhachev about striking with Charles Oliveira

The UFC recently announced a matchup between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev, scheduled to headline UFC 280, for the vacant lightweight title. Considering Makhachev's dominant wrestling and Oliveira's mastery in jiu-jitsu, the matchup has every chance of being a nailbiter on the ground.

However, 'do Bronx' has also displayed impressive stand-up acumen against elite strikers like Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier. Although Makhachev is coming off a first-round KO win over veteran striker Bobby Green, Daniel Cormier has warned his AKA teammate about striking against Oliveira.

According to 'DC', the Dagestani contender is likely to be on the receiving end of a knockout if he engages in a stand-up fight with 'do Bronx'. The former two-division champ and UFC Hall of Famer recently said on The DC&RC Show:

"I don't believe that Islam will play the game with 'do Bronx' at range. Because if you do, he's going to sleep. There's no mistake about it. Islam is too far from Charles [Oliveira]. Charles Oliveira is going to get him."

Watch the DC&RC Show below:

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Edited by David Andrew
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