For many fighters, the thought of getting taken down by a dominant wrestler of Islam Makhachev’s caliber is a nightmare scenario, but Charles Oliveira is not one of them.
“I’m going to his home, where they wanted the fight, where they think they will beat me,” Oliveira said on MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast. “I know I’m the biggest problem of this division. No one’s dumb, right? Every guy Islam fought was a striker and he took them down, and I went toe to toe with every guy I fought and only took them down to make things happen after I hurt them on the feet. Islam is fighting the worst problem of the division, Charles Oliveira.
“Want to start the fight on the ground? I’ll start playing guard. It won’t make any difference to me. Again, I’m telling everyone this, I’m the division’s biggest problem and you’re not understanding. I don’t care who it is and when it is. If you want to trade on the feet, come for it, I have firepower in my hands. If you want to take me down, do it.”
“When you’re fighting someone that will only take you down, you have to train what you do best,” Oliveira continued. “People don’t get it, I don’t know if they’re stupid or dumb. Islam has some striking, but he takes everybody down. Every guy he’s fought are strikers who were afraid of getting taken down. I’m not afraid of getting taken down. Islam has a lot to worry about what he’s going to do. I have no weight over me, nothing. I’m 100 percent at what he does best. I have the record for most submissions in [UFC] history and I have firepower in my hands.
“You want peace? We want twice of it. You want war? War is coming, it’s on October] 22. … I’m ready. I’ll win this guy. Listen to me, I’ll leave a gigantic legacy. I get near the big names of the sport and they feel bothered. Why is that? I haven’t done anything. The reality is they see how much I’m evolving. That’s the reality. The way I talk has changed, the way I get dressed has changed, the way I arrive has changed. Everything has changed.”
Oliveira had been campaigning for the fight to take place in his native Brazil, but he’s also not phased by the fact that it’s ended up landing in Dubai.
“The octagon is the same wherever, in a street in the favela or in Dubai or anywhere else,” Oliveira said. “It’s just the two of us when the cage door closes. I have all the respect in the world for Islam and his story and what he’s done, but we have to weight things, the names I’ve fought and the names he’s fought. It’s different already. I’m way better than him, and now we’ll see who’s the best.
“I’m very happy to be the underdog in this fight so everybody makes money. That’s the reality. I get sad when I’m not the underdog so people don’t make money.”