As far as entrance walks go, this can be categorised as rather fierce.
Former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira took time out from training for next week’s headline title clash at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi by going for an, apparently, casual stroll with a lion.
The Brazilian, who takes on Islam Makhachev at Etihad Arena on October 22 for the lightweight belt he vacated in May, posted pictures and videos on his Instagram account on Wednesday night showing him walking, petting and playing in the Emirates with one of nature’s greatest predators.
“Lion walks with lions, who doesn’t like it respect my story,” read the accompanying caption.
Riding an 11-fight win streak, Oliveira is seeking next week to reclaim his undisputed place at the top of the lightweight division. In Makhachev, he faces a fighter with 10 wins on the bounce, and unbeaten only once in his professional MMA career (22-1). Oliveira's pro MMA career reads 33-8.
The title fight is one of two championship bouts at UFC 280, with Aljamain Sterling defending his bantamweight crown against former champion TJ Dillashaw. The event, the UFC's return to the capital for the first time since October last year, forms part of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week.