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Morning Report: Daniel Cormier: Islam Makhachev had ‘one of the most dominant performances’ ever for a title challenger



At UFC 280, Islam Makhachev proved to everyone just how legit he is.

This past weekend’s main event featured one of the most anticipated UFC title fights in recent memory. Lightweight’s most impressive streak holders, Makhachev and former champion Charles Oliveira, finally got to go at it, and unfortunately for Oliveira, it wasn’t as competitive as he’d have liked it to be.

Calling the action that night was Makhachev’s old American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) teammate Daniel Cormier. Even though he has firsthand experience with Makhachev in the training room, Cormier was still wildly surprised by the showing under the brightest spotlight.

“He did it to a Charles ‘Do Bronx’ Oliveira who was in shape, who was prepared, but he knew exactly what he needed to do and I thought that was shown very early in the fight,” Cormier said on DC & RC.

“I’ve been in this kid’s arm triangle. It’s so tight. The moment he was able to clear guard, Charles Oliveira tapped, and I’m telling you, it was one of the most dominant performances that we’ve ever seen from a challenger.”

Oliveira had some moments early on and per UFC Stats managed to land the most significant strikes of any Makhachev opponent, albeit only 19. Ultimately, Makhachev’s phenomenal wrestling pressure was too much to overcome for the majority of the bout.

“Do Bronx’s” incredible submission threats were shut down with relative ease before he got dropped in the second round and finished with an arm triangle choke. Makhachev did exactly what he said he was going to do and now the community is largely in agreement that a lengthy new era atop the perpetually stacked 155-pound weight class could be set to unfold.

“I’ll say this without a shadow of a doubt about Islam,” Cormier said. “He’s always been the best guy in the room. We all thought if he could make the same type of skill and show the way that he shows in the practice room in the octagon, he would be the best in the world. Now, I’m not saying he’s better than Khabib [Nurmagomedov], I’m just saying he was just always so good. But he was never able to just take it and do it in the octagon as well as he did it inside of the gym.

“The one thing that was surprising to me was that when I talk to these guys … and I’m talking Charles, Islam, Aljo, T.J. Dillashaw, Sean O’Malley, and Petr Yan, I had never seen six guys that were so sure they were gonna win. Charles Oliveira thought he was gonna knock that guy out in the first round. Islam Makhachev right away said, ‘I’m gonna submit Charles Oliveira.’ Even I when talking to him I was like, ‘Islam, you cannot believe you’re just gonna walk through this dude.’”


Free fight.

Khalil’s journey.

Sterling’s final UFC 280 BTS.

Felder and Chiesa talk UFC 280.


He handled it well.

Let’s go.

Contest time.


Getting creative with the nicknames.

Fair point.



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There it is.

Strong season.


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Band work.


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Joshua Weems (10-2) vs. Christian Rodriguez (7-1); UFC Vegas 63, Oct. 29

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