On October 22 former UFC Lightweight champion Charles ‘do Bronx’ Oliveira takes on Islam Makhachev in UFC 280, with the Lightweight championship the stake that these fighters will be clashing. The main event takes place at Abu Dhabi and follows other very interesting fights for the night including ‘Suga’ Sean O’malley vs Petr Yan, and Aljamain Sterling putting his Bantamweight title on the line against T.J Dillashaw in the co-main event of the evening.
Charles Oliveira heads into this fight having recently defeated Justin Gaethje after his he was forced to vacate his Lightweight Championship for not making weight ahead of his fight with the American. In what was a short but tightly contested fight between Oliveira and Gaethje, the Brazilian came up victorious via a rear-naked choke to extend his winning streak to 11 wins. That win meant ‘do Bronx’ could now challenge for the title he was forced to vacate, and an interesting challenge the fans were calling for him to battle Islam Makhachev. Charles Oliveira has predicted that he will knockout Islam Makhachev in the first round and get the title he never lost back.
The Russian clashes with the Brazilian following his first round TKO win over Bobby Green to extend his own winning streak in the UFC to 10 wins in a row. Makhachev boasts an MMA fight record of 22-1-0 and fans feel that Islam can continue former Lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov’s legacy, with a similar fighting style and dominating groundwork in his arsenal. The now retired Khabib has labelled Oliveira’s praise by fans as falsely aimed as he says, “he has no ground game” and continued to say “you tap eight times, you have no ground game”. This comes after Charles had previously claimed that Islam Makhachev got the title fight because of his association with Nurmagomedov. Oliveira comes into this fight as the underdog on betting sites and given Islam’s dominant wins and the fact that he is fighting on comfortable grounds in Abu Dhabi, the Russian has been labelled a favourite to be next Lightweight Champion.
Dana White has recently confirmed that the winner, and eventual champion, of this contest will defend against current Featherweight champion and number 1 pound-for-pound ranked fighter, Alex Volkanovski. This means that Volkanovski will have a chance to become champion of 2 divisions, a feat recently attempted and failed by Israel Adesanya when he challenged Light Heavyweight champion Blachowicz. The last UFC fighter to successfully hold 2 separate division titles at the same time was Daniel Cormier when he was simultaneously champion of the Light Heavyweight and the Heavyweight division. However, with the prospect of a clash with the pound-for-pound number 1, the 2 fighters will not be losing focus ahead of their highly anticipated clash, because the gold that looms will determine which legacy is set in the UFC.
In the co-main event the Bantamweight champion Aljamain will be defending his title against former champion TJ Dillashaw, after convincingly defeating Petr Yan in his last fight. It was a fight that went to the judges’ decision and Sterling was able to get one over the Russian in their rematch. Dillashaw’s last fight in the UFC came in July of 2021 when he defeated Cory Sandhagen via a split decision, and some questions are being raised by critics regarding the former champion’s fitness and suitability to take part in a high intensity fight. However, ‘Lieutenant Dan’ has said he feels like he’s in the best shape of his career and is feeling highly confident of his chances against the current champion. Aljamain became champion after Petr Yan was disqualified in their first clash for kneeing Sterling while he was still on the ground. However, since critics were accusing Sterling of making the most out of the illegal move and “pretending to be hurt”, he bounced back and put on a very dominating display against Yan in their rematch. Aljamain is a heavy favourite amongst fans to successfully defend his title against T.J Dillashaw but it surely will be an interesting fight, and fans eager to see Dillashaw back in the octagon for the first time in over a year.
In another fight the fast surging Sean O’Malley is booked to face former Bantamweight champion Petr Yan in a bid to get himself in a title shot position. This is what is set to be a tight contest since both of these fighters are very excellent strikers, and are precise with their shots. It has become very hard for fans to predict the outcome of this one as both fighters can never be ruled out of a battle. Sean O’Malley’s last win came in December 2021 when he won via TKO in the first round against Raulian Paiva, whilst Petr Yan’s last win came in October 2021 against Cody Sandhagen via spil decision. O’Malley’s most recent fight was a draw no contest against Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276 after Munhoz claimed that one of O’Malley’s fingers grazed his eye and he couldn’t and hence the fight had to be called off. In what is expected to be a tight contested between the two, a winner has to be announced, and fans have emerged to favour the flashy Sean O’Malley.
All UFC and MMA fans in general cannot wait for the night of UFC280 where 2 fighters who have demanded the spotlight through their dominant displays clash. It remains to be one of the biggest UFC shows this year, and fans can surely expected to be given their money’s worth in entertainment.
The UFC280 press conference is set to be held on Thursday where the fighters will be comig face to face for the first time.
UFC280 full fightcard: