While Islam
is the most accurate takedown artist in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s lightweight
division, not everyone believes he is guaranteed to take his next
opponent down.

In August, Chute Boxe head coach Diego Lima
revealed to Sherdog
that ex-UFC champ Charles
had a secret weapon in his training camp. The Iranian
wrestler known as Alireza
had joined the team some years before, with the singular
goal of helping fighters in the camp train their wrestling. Noei
specifically devoted a great deal of focus on Oliveira, especially
ahead of the Brazilian’s October meeting with Makhachev, and Noei
believes that Oliveira’s chops on top and bottom are

“We have been working together for the last four years and I’m
really impressed by how he has evolved,” Noei admitted to Sherdog.
“Even for myself, who always competed in high level wrestling, [it]
is hard to take him down. He is good both attacking and

Many critics noted that while Oliveira’s jiu-jitsu is
off-the-charts, he could be susceptible to getting controlled on
the mat should a submission not materialize. For example,
specialized techniques honed at American Kickboxing Academy – the
gym in which Makhachev trains – could be particularly effective
against the grappling ace. When asked about maneuvers like knee
control and the fabled “Dagestani handcuff,” Noei promised that
they are drilling those types of exchanges and they will not work
on Oliveira.

“We are working in all techniques, but I really don’t think Islam
will take him down,” the wrestling coach, living in Brazil since
2015 with rapidly improving Portuguese, boasted. “In case he takes
Charles down, it will not be so easy to stabilize [him] like other
opponents he faced.”

Based on the skills that Oliveira presents, and the hard training
that “Do Bronx” is undergoing with the wrestler, Noei had no doubt
who would get their hand raised at
UFC 280
. He was not, however, ready to call for a specific kind
of victory. Noei instead chose two distinct possibilities.

“Charles submitting [Makhachev] in the second round, or winning via
decision,” Noei concluded with the utmost of confidence.

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Coach Alireza Noei Believes Charles Oliveira Will Not Be Taken Down at UFC 280