Charles Oliveira has expressed his disappointment that his lightweight title rematch with Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 later this month is again taking place in Abu Dhabi, which is essentially the current champion’s second home.
The two stars fought at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi back in October of last year, with Makhachev bossing the action on his way to a second round submission victory, and now they’ll be returning to the same venue at the Etihad stadium for the rematch.
“I don’t necessarily think it’s fair, but it’s the game,” Oliveira told My MMA News. “That’s where the champion is. He calls the shots. But I’m coming back for my belt, wherever that is.”
Makhachev has since responded to Oliveira’s comments, insisting that he doesn’t have any say in where he fights, while highlighting the fact that his last title defense against Alexander Volkanovski took place in his opponent’s home country.
“Charles, I asked to fight in US in the summer, but UFC has other plans,” Makhachev wrote. “I am a UFC fighter like you, never set the conditions for the UFC and fought where they offered, my last fight took place in Australia at the challenger’s backyard, simple, everything you say makes no sense.”