LAS VEGAS – Islam Makhachev is full of confidence heading into UFC Fight Night 202.

Makhachev (21-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) meets short-notice replacement Bobby Green in Saturday’s main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, where he hopes to earn a title shot with a win.

UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira has impressed with his well-rounded game. He knocked out Michael Chandler to capture the title, then submitted Dustin Poirier to retain it. But stylistically, Makhachev thinks he’d be able to impose his will on the champ.

“It’s going to be a good fight because we almost have the same style,” Makhachev told MMA Junkie at Wednesday’s media day. “He has good grappling skills, he has good striking, and it’s going to be a good fight. I don’t think it’s going to be hard for me. I can take him down easy because I know he doesn’t have good wrestling skills. But his grappling skills (are) high level and we will see who is better there.”

With Makhachev envisioning a matchup with Oliveira (32-8 MMA, 20-8 UFC), that means he sees the Brazilian notching another title defense when he faces Justin Gaethje at UFC 274.

“I think Oliveira is going to beat Justin Gaethje, and (it will be) 11-(fight) winning streak vs. 10-win streak,” Makhachev said. “This is going to be a big fight for all MMA fans.

“I think he’s It’s going to finish him. I think he’s It’s going to strike with him (in the) first round, and after, he’s It’s going to take him down. I think he’s It’s going to choke him.”


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