Oliveira (34-9 MMA, 22-9 UFC) runs things back with Makhachev (24-1 MMA, 13-1 UFC) in the UFC 294 main event on Oct. 21 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. In their first title fight last October, Oliveira was submitted by Makhachev in the second round at UFC 280. Oliveira’s aggressive style paid dividends in his finishes over Michael Chandler, Dustin Poirier, Justin Gaethje, and Beneil Dariush, but Bisping says “Do Bronx” can’t employ the same strategy vs. Makhachev.
“Charles has to have a game plan,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “He can’t just go forward in a blaze of aggression. He can’t just be winging it. I mean, at the end of the day, when two fighters like that engage in just an all-out brawl, if Charles is doing that, it’s a coin toss, OK?
“It’s one shot can change everything. So you have got to have a game plan. Alright, granted as Mike Tyson said, ‘Everyone has a game plan until they get punched in the face.'”
Bisping also thinks Oliveira can’t be taking too many risks against a grappler the caliber of Makhachev.
“Well, he’s got to use a lot of straight shots,” Bisping continued. “He’s got to use a lot of punches. Yeah, you can throw kicks. Charles is very, very good at throwing kicks. Against a wrestler, usually I would say don’t throw a lot of kicks, don’t throw a lot of leg kicks because they’ll catch them, but that’s not really how Islam gets takedowns. He doesn’t rely on that. He’s that good of a wrestler he can force his own takedowns.
“He’s got to use a lot of jabs, and he’s got to use a lot of straight shots and early. Much to the dismay of Charles Oliveira, he’s got to circle, he’s got to be light on his feet, he’s got to be strategic, simple as that. He has to employ some form of strategy, and that strategy is avoid the clinch early, don’t take too many chances, and don’t throw wild sh*t like flying knees when you’re not even in range.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.