Islam Makhachev will try to debunk Charles do Bronx at UFC 280, in Abu Dhabi, this coming Saturday. He will be the fifth Brazilian opponent of the Russian-born Dagestan fighter. Combat talked to two of these fighters, Gleison Tibau and Davi Ramos, to understand a little more about Makhachev’s game and find out who was in there with him, what the projection is for one of the most anticipated duels of 2022 at Ultimate.
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Islam Makhachev defeated Gleison Tibau by knockout at 57s of the first round – Photo: Getty Images
Gleison Tibau faced the Russian on January 20, 2018, at UFC 220 in Boston. The Brazilian returned from a two-year suspension for doping and lasted just 57 seconds with Makhachev in the Octagon, having been knocked out immediately.
– When I accelerated the camp, I blew out my right bicep with two weeks to go. I told my trainers that “I don’t have the right to deny this fight, I have to go, even if it’s with just one arm”. I was in a lot of pain and didn’t feel the struggle. It was a very quick fight, I didn’t have much to use because of the injuries. I remember the fight started and I entered with a kick and he entered with a strong right and the fight ended – said the 39-year-old fighter, who evaluated Makhachev more by what he saw in the preparation.
– Watching him fight, it’s a very fair game, he’s a very strong guy. Before our fight, I saw that he was a guy who worked more wrestling, his hand didn’t even bother me at that time. He didn’t even let go of his hand much, he was more grabbed, so I was more focused on wrestling defense. I really caught a hit there (…). I thought he would just want to do wrestling, the school of his game. But really, all this time watching, he’s been evolving too, a very good crescent in the striking. Although today I see Charles at the best moment of his life, I’ve never seen a guy evolve as much as From the Bronx. He’s really evolved a lot, he’s a complete fighter, a fighter with a good striking, jiu-jitsu isn’t even mentioned, and he’s not a natural wrestling, but he’s having a good takedown time, managing to take down good wrestlings.
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Islam Makhachev and Gleison Tibau faced off at UFC 220 — Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
As for what to expect from the weekend’s duel in the United Arab Emirates, Tibau puts the fight in two directions. Fast-track, he bets on Charles of the Bronx. If the fight ends up in the hands of the judges, he thinks it’s a sign that Makhachev has managed to impose his game.
– It’s a tough fight, we all know. If it’s a knockout or submission fight, I’d be with Charles. And a decision fight, with five rounds, for the sake of the game I would bet on Islam (…). If the fight stays up, it’s more for Charles, who has more volume and is more technical. The Makhachev is a simple but well done, strong and powerful, “one, two, kick”, “one, two, three”. Charles doesn’t, he has more volume, is looser standing up, so he’s certainly more dangerous (…). Charles is a smart guy, he’s with a very good team, so I believe they focused a lot on this part of wrestling, because that’s where I think it’s going to make a difference. I don’t see Makhachev beating Charles in any other game. He would be putting them down, staying there in the guard, in the half, working the guard, this is the good game for Makhachev. But I think the standing part is a danger for Makhachev.
Islam Makhachev defeated Davi Ramos by unanimous decision at UFC 242 – Photo: Getty Images
Three fights after that duel with Tibau, Makhachev would face Davi Ramos. The duel took place on September 7, 2019, at UFC 242, the same card on which Khabib Nurmagomedov defended his belt against Dustin Poirier. The Brazilian reported being surprised by the Russian’s game.
– What surprised me is that during the camp I thought he was going to take down and play his game, because all the fights I had seen he had played his game, no matter with whom, which was to take down and impose. the game. When he came across me, he didn’t want to do it. I thought he was smarter in this fight, that’s what surprised me the most. He played left-handed, played on the counterattack, managed to hit the distance better because it was longer, and took the fight to the end. I thought he would take it further down.
Davi Ramos, now a fighter at the Russian ACA event, evaluated possible advantageous scenarios for Charles do Bronx in the fight with Makhachev.
– In striking, I see Charles much better, he can surprise and put good blows on him. Charles is coming up with a good streak of striking, he caught guys who had good striking – despite having been knocked down in some fights – and he’s been improving more and more, showing that his striking is very good, superior to Makhachev’s. I think this is the way for him. Another way is to get to the melee and go to the back. I don’t believe in a Charles takedown, he’s not a guy who has very good wrestling, he tangles up and fits in very good submissions, but he’s not a guy with sharp wrestling. I don’t see him taking down Islam in wrestling, but suddenly a counter takedown, or a back lunge, those are two paths he should take.
Also according to Davi, the fact that the fight will take place in Abu Dhabi is a clear advantage for the Russian, who is already used to the local climate.
– I think it is a clear advantage for Makhachev to fight in Abu Dhabi, where he has full support. I follow him and I have many friends in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and he has been in Dubai for a long time. This can favor him in a fight end, mainly. Even taking the hook from the event I fought him, which was also in Abu Dhabi, I was practically 21 days before the fight and practically just me and someone else who didn’t get tired during the fight. It’s something you really have to go and adapt well to, I knew that and I went before.
In addition to Tibau and Davi, Makhachev fought Adriano Martins, who in October 2015 imposed his only career loss, by knockout, at UFC 192; and against Thiago Moisés, in July 2021, when he submitted the Brazilian in the fourth round.
This Saturday, starting at 11:40 am (Brasília time), UFC 280 begins with an exclusive broadcast of Combat. O combat.com shows the first two fights live on video and follows the entire card in real time. O “Combat Warming” starts at 11:10 am (Brasília time).
22 October 2022 in Abu Dhabi (UAE)
MAIN CARD (3 pm, Brasília time):
Lightweight: Charles do Bronx vs Islam Makhachev
Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling vs TJ Dillashaw
Bantamweight: Petr Yan vs Sean O’Malley
Lightweight: Beneil Dariush vs Mateusz Gamrot
Flyweight: Katlyn Chookagian vs Manon Fiorot
PRELIMINARY CARD (11:40 am Brasília time):
Welterweight: Belal Muhammad vs Sean Brady
Middleweight: Makhmud Muradov vs Caio Borralho
Light Heavyweight: Volkan Oezdemir vs Nikita Krylov
Welterweight: Abubakar Nurmagomedov vs Gadzhi Omargadzhiev
Middleweight: Armen Petrosyan vs AJ Dobson
Flyweight: Muhammad Mokaev vs Malcolm Gordon
Bantamweight: Karol Rosa vs Lina Lansberg
UFC 280: Charles do Bronx and Islam Makhachev have the most anticipated fight of the year!