UFC 280: Khabib Nurmagomedov says Islam Makhachev will "roll over" Charles Oliveira
UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov is backing his student Islam Makhachev to defeat Charles Oliveira at UFC 280.
Makhachev, a Dagestani hailing from the same rugged corner of the world as the undefeated Nurmagomedov, has notched up an impressive 22-1 MMA record, largely thanks to his smothering wrestling.
But now, the Russian gets his opportunity on the biggest stage and fighter-turned-coach Nurmagomedov is confident his star pupil will be crowned champion.
"I think Islam is more skilled than Oliveira," the Hall of Famer told UFC Russia.
With ten consecutive victories and near flawless record, Makhachev will go into the fight as the betting favourite. But the thing is, Oliveira has worn that underdog tag for most of his life.
In addition, Oliveira has been significantly tested in his last three bouts, but still managed to best the explosive Michael Chandler, perennial title contender Dustin Poirier and most recently, knockout artist Justin Gaetjie. And what's more, Oliveira finished them, often in spectacular fashion.
As such, the UFC's next main event really is a case of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. Which aspect represents which fighter is up to you…