UFC welterweight fighter Gilbert Burns is picking Charles Oliveira to beat Islam Makhachev! There’s a prospect of Charles and Islam fighting in the very near future for the vacant lightweight title. They are both among the elite grapplers in the division and a potential showdown between the two is mouth-watering.
Charles Oliveira has become the proverbial boogeyman in the division. He has taken out all of the top-ranked contenders in the division. From Dustin Poirier to Justin Gaethje, almost every elite fighter has fallen to Oliveira. The scariest aspect of fighting Oliveira is that he does not go without fighting. Leading up to UFC 274, Gaethje’s coach pointed out that Charles has completely changed his mentality, which is a major part of his recent success.
Although he does show signs of a weak chin, the Brazilian more than makes up for it with his grappling. In a bizarre sense of irony, the more damage he takes, the stronger Charles Oliveira’s grappling senses become. Charles currently has the highest number of submissions in UFC (16). However, he is yet to face anyone in the division who is as dominant of a grappler as Islam Makhachev.
Not only is Islam much bigger than Charles in size, but It also seems the Dagestani is much stronger as well. Hence, there is big speculation on how the bout between them plays out. While the many fans and pundits have picked Islam Makhachev to get the job done, Gilbert Burns is willing to bet all his money on his countryman. He recently said,
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“Islam is a high-level grappler as well… I’m still going to put all my money on Oliveira. Think Oliveira got it…So that guy hits hard, he’s bony with crazy grappling, with crazy clinch. Have Oliveira all day.”
Who will face Charles Oliveira next?
Charles Oliveira is currently the no, 1 ranked fighter in the 155lbs division and a contender for the belt. After losing his title on the scale, he beat Justin Gaethje at UFC 274 to secure another title opportunity. But there is still a lot of chatter on who may face him for the championship next. Although Islam Makhachev is the most logical next opponent, it does not seem like a realistic possibility. Makhachev himself has confirmed that he will most likely face Beneil Dariush next.
With that being the case, what is The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) looking to do? There are plenty of big fights that the company can make. Both Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier are up for facing Oliveira once more. But those fights are still pretty fresh in the mind of the audiences. He needs a fresh challenge to boost his brand value. Who is better to do that other than Conor McGregor?
McGregor is set to come back later this year after missing more than a year to heal from his leg injury. He does not seem too interested in any meaningless challenges. Conor is already thinking about becoming a three-division UFC champion and creating history. Although that may be a bit unrealistic at this moment, the UFC can certainly offer him, Oliveira. Charles has repeatedly spoken about why he wants to face Conor and even went on to call him out after UFC 274. It may just be a mega-fight that UFC is looking towards as the vacant title fight.