Tonight in Abu Dhabi, Islam Makhachev has achieved greatness inside the UFC Octagon by defeating former champion Charles Oliveira, and earning the UFC lightweight title.
Makhachev successfully nullified the tactics of Oliveira, and secured a second round submission finish over the submission king himself.
Early in the first round, Makhachev opened things up right away by landing a clean left hand that seemed to bother Oliveira, and let him know the type of power he was dealing with. Following this, from inside the clinch, Oliveira pulled Makhachev to the ground inside his guard, inviting the ground game.
While Oliveira did keep his guard very active, Makhachev did a great job from the top, pressing into him and defending well against the submission attempts. When Makhachev moved into top half guard, Oliveira saw the threat that this may pose and wrestled up to escape the bottom position.
The fighters were back on their feet, but it would only be a matter of time until the Dagestani found a way to bring things back to the mat. Makhachev pushed his opponent against the cage, reached over Oliveira’s arm to secure the whizzer, and executed a perfect throw resulting in a top half guard position. While Oliveira was able to re-engage the full guard underneath his opponent, he would have no chance at attempting any submissions as Makhachev had him strategically pressured against the cage in order to keep his hips square.
After some short-lived back and forth striking in the second round, Oliveira once again found himself with his back against the cage while standing, this time with Makhachev working for double underhooks. In this case, Oliveira was able to break free and shuck his opponent away before another takedown, but this is where things began to go south for the Brazilian.
In a risky attempt, Oliveira jumped forward, trying to land the flying knee. This strike partially connected, but it opened up the opportunity for Makhachev to land a strong right hook as soon as Oliveira’s feet hit the ground. The hook hurt Oliveira and dropped him to his back, where Makhachev was able to move past his legs and secure the top position.
Once in top position, Makhachev almost immediately was under Oliveira’s shoulder on one side, and around his head on the other, as he began to tighten and secure the arm triangle choke. Oliveira fought the position for a short time, but once his opponent moved slightly to the side and dismounted while continuing the choke, he knew there was no escape and was forced to tap to the full pressure of the squeeze.
ISLAM MAKHACHEV IS THE UNDISPUTED LW CHAMPION OF THE WORLD! 🏆
— UFC (@ufc) October 22, 2022
Immediately following this dramatic finish, Makhachev shared his respect for Khabib Nurmagomedov, who he credits with getting him to where he is today, at the top of the UFC lightweight division. The two then called out their next opponent, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. Makhachev promises he will finish Volkanovski, securing his place at the top of the pound for pound rankings.
— UFC (@ufc) October 22, 2022
Official Result: Islam Makhachev defeats Charles Oliveira via Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) – Round 2, 3:16