Khabib Nurmagomedov thinks Charles Oliveira is still the lightweight champ despite losing the belt on the scale at UFC 274.
Oliveira was looking to defend his lightweight title for the second time against Justin Gaethje but on weigh-in day, he missed weight by 0.5 pounds meaning he was stripped of the title. He ended up submitting Gaethje in the first round but it was a non-title fight for him, however, he has said he is still the champ and for Khabib Nurmagomedov, he agrees with the Brazilian but doesn’t think Oliveira is the undisputed champ.
“If Charles wins against Islam, we have to give him credit,” Nurmagomedov said to ESPN. “Then he’s going to be undisputed UFC lightweight champion. Right now, I believe he’s champion. I believe even this. People talk about the half-pound. I believe he deserved it. Right now, in this moment, he deserved to be champion. He’s doing a very good job, you know? But he’s not undisputed. When I finished, I was undisputed.”
According to Khabib Nurmagomedov, they are confident Islam Makhachev will face Charles Oliveira for the vacant lightweight title next. Nurmagomedov also says they are fine to have the fight in Brazil as the goal for them is for Makhachev to become the champ.
If the fight is made, Nurmagomedov is confident Makhachev will finish Oliveira on the ground to become the new lightweight champ.
“If they want Brazil, no problem. We’re going to come to Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, no problem. We’re going to come there two weeks before the fight, rent some big house, come with big team, make weight (not like Charles Oliveira). We’re going to make weight. We’re going to finish Charles Oliveira on his game, on the ground – on the ground, on Brazilian land,” Nurmagomedov said. “We’re going to teach all fans what is top control, how we finish people. We’re going to get the belt and go back. We’re going to take some big hugs from Brazilian fans. They’re going to love Islam’s ground game.”
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime