Oliveira says Makhachev title shot because of Khabib

ABU DHABI — Charles Oliveira will take on Islam Makhachev for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 280 because that’s what’s next, although the former champion doesn’t necessarily believe it should’ve been made.

“I think Islam deserves all the respect in the world,” Oliveira told MMA Junkie and other reporters during UFC 280 media day Wednesday, “but I think he should’ve fought somebody maybe in the top five like I did, not just surf on someone else’s wave and skip the line like he did.”

Oliveira’s remark was exactly what it seemed: A thinly veiled shot at the fact that Makhachev is the star pupil of UFC Hall of Famer and former lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“For sure, this fight is only happening because of him,” Oliveira said.

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