The highly anticipated UFC 294 rematch between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira has garnered significant attention from MMA enthusiasts. This time, the showdown will take place in the heart of Abu Dhabi this October, with Oliveira seeking redemption. However, Makhachev faces a unique challenge, as his mentor, Khabib Nurmagomedov, will not be in his corner for the second time in his UFC career. Khabib’s absence was notably felt in Makhachev’s previous bout against Alexander Volkanovski, where he came perilously close to defeat.
Interestingly, Khabib Nurmagomedov, the esteemed lightweight GOAT, envisions a more formidable battle in the upcoming rematch and has expressed a unanimous prediction.
The last encounter between these two fighters occurred at UFC 280, where Makhachev ended Oliveira’s winning streak and claimed the lightweight championship for Dagestan. While Khabib initially exuded immense confidence in his protege’s ability to dominate, he now anticipates a different dynamic in the rematch.
Khabib Nurmagomedov provides his insights on the impending rematch between Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira. The former UFC lightweight champion envisions a challenging contest for both fighters, with Makhachev facing an even more demanding test than their initial encounter. Khabib believes that Charles Oliveira, known as ‘Do Bronx,’ has reached a point where he has nothing left to lose, setting the stage for an intriguing and unpredictable showdown.
Khabib elaborated, “There will be more risks for Islam. Oliveira has nothing to lose. He has already lost. I think it won’t be an easy fight for both of them. For Islam, the second fight will be more difficult than the first. This is my purely personal opinion.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov’s departure from MMA earlier this year surprised many fans. Since then, he has refrained from returning to the sport, even in a coaching capacity, despite his burgeoning reputation as an exceptional coach. Khabib’s decision to step back from coaching was driven by his strong desire to spend more quality time with his family.
The influence of Khabib Nurmagomedov in the realm of MMA is unparalleled, and his absence from Makhachev’s corner is significant. Khabib’s presence not only provides a boost of confidence but also brings a strategic advantage due to his immense fight IQ. This absence becomes particularly noteworthy, considering that the one fight where Khabib was not in Makhachev’s corner marked the moment when Makhachev appeared most vulnerable.