IT'S (almost) TIMEEEE! (In my best Bruce Buffer impression). UFC 280, October 22nd, at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, is almost upon us all, I'm back and excited to do another breakdown on the highly anticipated fight between Charles "Do Bronx" Oliveira 33-8-0 (1 NC) VS Islam Makhachev 22-1-0. The last prefight breakdown was Usman VS Edwards 2, I was accurate on many key elements in that fight, for example how Usman will look for the single leg to drive into the cage for clinch control and to close distance, rather than a double leg for a takedown, even Daniel Cormier himself acknowledged this before their most recent fight, I also mentioned how if Leon was to win he'd have to keep very central inside the octagon and not be allowed to be pushed up to the outer octagon logo, that you see in the octagon on the mat, so taking into account Leon finished Usman directly in the middle of the octagon proved I was correct with this statement of cage control, so I definitely gave myself a pat on the back after that scrap, if you haven't read that article, feel free to go back and check it out, always much apricated, but we are for the here and now, so take a step into my mind and see what I believe the keys to victory are for both fighters.
We will start with the uncrowned champion, Oliveira.
In every fight that I can think of, Oliveira consistently has that forward pressure from the very first second of any fight he's in, this modern day "Do Bronx" knows one way, that is forward, he keeps up such a furious pace most of his opponents crumble, I honestly think this is a tip of the hat to Khabib, Khabib used to implement a very similar style of forward pressure, the fact both of them are willing to put there selves out there to take a shot just to get that bit closer to their opponent, if it worked for Khabib surely it makes sense to implement it in your game seeing how dominant Khabib's reign was, such ruthless cage control and a daunting pace for any opponent. The forward pressure is a must for Oliveira, Islam does not tend to lead the fight from the front foot, he tends to grow into it, so Charles can definitely have success early if the forward pressure is there.
The clinch control from Oliveira could play a huge part in this fight, his muay Thai is far superior than his opponent Islam's, Bobby Green was able to control the clinch and throw some juicy knee's before Islam exited the clinch and drove for a desperate double leg in their fight, in the clinch Oliveira is more than happy to get as many knees and elbows in as he can, as he welcomes someone brave enough to take him down from the clinch, simply put he does not fear being taken down, now this fight he might, only he can tell you that, but in other fights his success in the clinch department has helped him , weather that be damaging elbows and knees, or submission attempts.
Submissions from anywhere
16 wins via submissions in the UFC, in a sense this should be all that needed to be said, but it's so dam impressive I've got to talk more, to get this many wins in the best MMA organization in the world is truly ridiculous in the best way, whether it be standing in the clinch like he did against Dustin Poirier, on his back on the floor, or on top of his opponent, he will find the submission and he will lock it up, quick. As mentioned, there are far too many submission wins let alone attempts to pull up, so I'll just serve up my favorite ones from different positions, this has to be what Islam is careful about at ALL times.
Double leg takedowns
We now go onto Islam Makachev's ways to win this fight, first and foremost his incredible double leg takedowns, now in the manner Islam does this will help him get Oliveira down without the threat of a submission attempt, in the attachment below you can see unlike most wrestlers, Islam's double leg takedowns/shoots are so low he doesn't have to worry about someone snatching his neck for a guillotine.
Now I feel this point has flown under the radar, Oliveira has in his last few fights been fighting with a muay Thai front leg slightly raised stance, which has been super effective against leg kickers like Poirier and Gathje, but against a flat heavy footed sambo wrestler, I think Makhachev's stance is a great style match up if you're in Islam's corner, the double leg takedowns or any takedowns are far more likely to come easier against an opponent with this certain muay Thai stance, due to the off balance already being there with the opponent only having one foot completely down at all times.
Submissions and control
I'll put these two points side by side as Islam performs both of these arts superbly as one, similar to Charles, Islam has an array of submissions in his arsenal, he certainly isn't as slick as Charles, but his sheer power and relentless grappling helps him perform these submissions to victory, like I said at the beginning, control and submissions, he does this beautifully in one. Just like his mentor (Khabib) once Islam gets the takedown, he'll smother you to exhaustion, you can physically see the opponent drowning in the pressure he creates, because once he holds you down, chances are you don't get back up, on the other hand though Islam does not tend to ground and pound you till you quit like his mentor, Islam looks to expand on the control positions and looks to finish the fight via submissions, it's a great tool to have, even in this fight that's bound to take place on the floor, but he does have to be extremally careful, as rolling on the mat with on paper the best submission artist in the whole UFC is a very dangerous game to play, but if anyone could win this game, it's Makhachev.
So, in summary I hope I have given everyone who will tune in and read this a lot to think about when watching the fight unfold, it's going to be a beautiful stylistic matchup between sambo VS BJJ (Brazilian jiu jitsu), so which one will come out on top? the bookies have Makhachev favorite, but if you've been following Oliveira you know that's not new news, he's been underdog in several fights recently and I can't figure out why, so as I have done since his fight against Kevin Lee I'm sticking with "Do Bronx", I think experience and the championship rounds could play a huge part in this, I just haven't seen enough from Islam yet that makes me think he's ready for the biggest and toughest fight of his career, Bobby Green to Charles Oliveira is a huge step up, but that's the beautiful thing about our sport, you just never know.
Top comments (7)
I read it in Bruce’s voice 😂
Congrats on a top post mate 😎
Haha its hard not too! Cheers mate missed putting these posts out, but replies like this is what makes me want to keep putting content out 🙌
Yep, and you're getting better and better at it 👊
This is awesome - a top read before a top event.
Appreciate it dude, all you fellas give me the motivation to keep on doing what I do 🙌
Amazing, doesn't he also have some sort of record for the most win/fight of night bonuses or something like that too?
Yeah he sure does!👍