UFC 280: Charles Oliveira Says Makhachev Skipped Line, Surfed Khabib’s Wave to Title Shot

Charles Oliveira brought his entire entourage with him to the UFC 280 media day this week — all dyed blonde just like the former lightweight champ himself. The uncrowned champ, if you will.

So what if someone didn’t want to dye their hair? “It’s actually not about not wanting to dye the hair. All of them wanted to dye their hair. Everybody’s on the same vibe. Everybody’s on the same timing,” Oliveira told the media.

Oliveira has not missed a beat in recent years, not even when he was stripped of the UFC’s lightweight title earlier this year after missing weight for his fight with Justin Gaethje. Tampering with the scale was widely cited as the culprit, and Oliveira has proclaimed that “the champion has a name” ever since. That name, of course, is Charles Oliveira.

Come Saturday in Abu Dhabi, mind you, Islam Makhachev will look supplant the Brazilian known as “Do Bronx.”

“I think Islam deserves all the respect in the world, but I think he should have fought somebody maybe in the top five like I did, not just surf on someone else’s wave and skip the line like he did,” Oliveira said of his opponent.

By that, Oliveira was making a clear reference to Makhachev’s friend, teammate, and now coach, Khabib Nurmagomedov — who retired undefeated at 29-0 as the UFC’s reigning lightweight champ. “For sure. This fight is only happening because of him.”

“It’s for the history, for everthing he’s done,” Oliveira added. “If it was any other guy, he would have had to walk the walk that I had to walk. Knocking on people’s doors, trying to get into a top five. The reason why this fight’s happening is because of him.”

Makhachev enters the UFC 280 main event against Oliveira having won ten straight. Yet as Oliveira pointed out, while fighting notable names like Drew Dober, Thiago Moises, Bobby Green, and Dan Hooker, he hasn’t beaten anyone in the top five, where names such as Gaethje, Poirier, and Chandler reside — thought Islam himself sits at #4 in the promotion’s official rankings.

Regardless, Makhachev has claimed that he’ll finish Oliveira on the ground. That’s a lofty claim, given Charles Oliveira holds the UFC’s submissions record.

“I think anyone wants to believe and wants what is best for them,” Oliveira said in response to Makhachev’s claim. “If we go down to the ground, he’s basically facing the biggest finisher in the history of the UFC. If he wants to stand up, then we’re going to stand up. I’m here to make history again. I’m here to shock the world.”

Watch the full UFC 280 media day appearance by Charles Oliveira above. The event takes place this Saturday, October 22, 2022 at the Eithad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE.