Thu, 01 Dec 2022

The Irishman weighed in with his thoughts before Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira meet for the UFC lightweight title

Conor McGregor has predicted that Brazil's Charles Oliveira will "easily" beat Russian rival Islam Makhachev when the pair face off for the lightweight title at UFC 280 later this month.

Dagestani grappling phenomenon Makhachev is aiming to follow in the footsteps of friend and mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov by capturing the UFC's 155lbs crown in Abu Dhabi.

Former champion Oliveira, who was stripped of the title after weighing in heavy for his contest with Justin Gaethje back in May, will be aiming to restore his official status as the ruler of the lightweight ranks.

When asked in Twitter Q and A session for his thoughts on how the fight will play out, McGregor was succinct with his forecast.

"Olly and easy," replied the Irishman, who has styled himself as 'Mystic Mac' for his prescience on previous occasions.

McGregor's backing for Oliveira is perhaps predictable given the lingering animosity with Khabib and his team following their notorious Las Vegas showdown in 2018.

The Dubliner's defeat to Khabib was one of three he has endured in his last four visits to the UFC Octagon.

The 34-year-old continues to be sidelined by the brutal leg-break he suffered against Dustin Poirier last July.

However, McGregor is targeting a comeback next year which the former two-weight champion claims will be the "greatest and biggest" in sporting history.

Responding in the same social media Q and A, a bulked-up McGregor indicated that he was aiming to step up to welterweight for his return.

"I'm excited to put on clinics. They've seen half a page of my dossier," replied the Irishman when asked what "excites" him about fighting at 170lbs.

Should McGregor rejoin the fold at lightweight, Oliveira has already said he would be willing to welcome him back to the cage, assuming the Brazilian can see off the challenge of Makhachev in their main event on October 22.

READ MORE: Oliveira already looking beyond Makhachev towards McGregor fight

Oliveira, 32, is riding a remarkable 11-fight winning streak into the contest, having risen from the ranks of promising contenders to insert himself into the conversation as one of the all-time lightweight greats.

Makhachev, 31, has just one blemish one his 23-fight career record - a 2015 TKO defeat to Adriano Martins - and is unbeaten in his last 10 bouts.

(RT.com)

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