Islam Makhachev doesn’t think Charles Oliveira rematch is a good idea: ‘He will give up’

ABU DHABI – Islam Makhachev will fight anyone, but doesn’t see Charles Oliveira as the logical next choice.

Lightweight champion Makhachev (25-1 MMA, 14-1 UFC) was scheduled to rematch Oliveira in the UFC 294 headliner, but Oliveira was forced out due to a cut and replaced by featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski (26-2 MMA, 13-1 UFC). After going five hard rounds with Volkanovski at UFC 284, Makhachev knocked him out by Round 1 head kick Saturday at Etihad Arena.

UFC CEO Dana White expressed interest in rebooking the Makhachev vs. Oliveira rematch, but Makhachev doesn’t appear too motivated after beating him in convincing fashion at UFC 280. Makhachev dropped and submitted Oliveira in Round 2, but made it clear that he’ll fight anyone offered.

“It’s not my job. Dana has to work on this,” Makhachev told MMA Junkie and other reporters during a post-fight news conference. “I just will sign the contract. Just send me the name. But my opinion, I feel like I already have two opponents. Charles? OK, I will beat Charles, but who’s going to be next? (Justin) Gaethje? He will wait? I don’t think it’s a good idea, but it is what it is. If they say Charles, OK. If they say Gaethje, for me it’s OK. It doesn’t matter – I will be ready.”

If Oliveira is next, Makhachev vows it wouldn’t go any differently the second time.

“It’s not going to be different,” Makhachev said. “I will show him, and he will feel a hard time. He will give up, and I will choke him or finish him.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.

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