Is Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev happening? Following the latest buzz surrounding the highly anticipated rematch

Charles Oliveira, the original opponent for Islam Makhachev at UFC 294, will be getting the next crack at the lightweight title. Dana White confirmed it himself during the post-fight press conference of UFC 294. With Justin Gaethje willing to wait for his title shot, there are no other fighters in contention for the opportunity.

Now, rumors are circulating about the date and venue of Makhachev’s title defense against Oliveira. There are no official confirmations from either side regarding the bout details. The news was initially reported by Ariel Helwani on his former Twitter account, now X.

Report suggests Oliveira vs Makhachev 2 in talks

Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira have distinguished themselves from the rest of the division with their dominant performances. Makhachev has been on a tear in the lightweight division with 12 consecutive wins, a record tied with Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov for the longest streak in the division.

In their first meeting at UFC 280 Makhachev and Oliveira fought for the vacant title due to Oliveira missing weight against Gaethje in his previous fight at UFC 274. Makhachev dominated the fight and became the champion via an arm triangle submission in the second round. This victory put an end to Oliveira’s 11-fight win streak dating back to 2018.

Ariel Helwani recently tweeted, “The current plan – though not finalized just yet – is to have Islam Makhachev vs. Charles Oliveira 2 as the headline for UFC 297. While the event hasn’t been officially announced yet, it is currently scheduled for January 20th in Toronto. The original plan for the main event was Volkanovski vs. Topuria, but now the plan is for that to be on the February PPV.”

Although not officially confirmed by the UFC, Helwani is a reliable entity with good sources. The UFC’s plans were turned around mainly due to Oliveira suffering a nasty cut that forced him out of UFC 294. Alexander Volkanovski, his replacement, suffered a brutal head kick KO loss and that ruled him out of his clash against Ilia Topuria at UFC 297.

Oliveira withdrew from UFC 294 due to injury

Charles Oliveira, after his win over Beneil Dariush at UFC 289, was reluctant to face Makhachev at UFC 294 in UAE. However, with no other option available for the UFC, the promotion pushed for a rematch between Oliveira and Makhachev.

Oliveira accepted the challenge and had plans to dethrone Makhachev, showing new defensive improvements in his bout against Dariush. Unfortunately, Oliveira suffered a nasty cut just 12 days before the fight. What was more concerning than the injury itself was Dana White’s fury against Team Oliveira for leaking the news before the promotion had a chance to address it.

Oliveira received stitches and needed a week for the wound to heal. His absence from UFC 294 put him in a precarious position. Ali Abdelaziz, the manager of both Justin Gaethje and Islam Makhachev, immediately hinted at Gaethje potentially receiving the next lightweight title shot.

Fortunately for Oliveira, the UFC CEO, Dana White when asked about the next opponent for Makhachev, sided with the Brazilian. Moreover, in the recently concluded UFC Sao Paulo, Oliveira was asked by ESPN’s Heidi Androl about the rumors of him fighting at UFC 297 to which he expressed his willingness if the promotion wishes it.

Do you think Charles Oliveira defeats Islam Makhachev in their rematch? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.


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