UFC 280: Oliveira vs. Makhachev is coming up this weekend at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Saturday, October the 22nd will see the lightweight title finally settle the long dispute over Charles Oliveira’s supreme reign in the division. Meanwhile longtime contender Islam Makhachev finally gets his chance to prove he is greater than the shadow of his predecessor Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Table of Contents

  • Islam Makhachev Vs Charles Oliveira

  • Brief History of Charles

  • Brief  History of Makhachev

  • Aljamain Sterling Vs TJ Dillashaw

  • Petr Yan Vs Sean O’Malley

  • Beneil Dariush Vs Mateusz Gamrot

  • Belal Muhammad Vs Sean Brady

  • Muhammad Mokaev Vs Malcolm Gordon

  • Abubakar Nurmagomedov Vs Gadzhi Omargadzhiev

Islam Makhachev Vs Charles Oliveira

The title fight of the night Makhachev Vs Oliveira is expected to be one the greatest match ups in recent title contention history. Every single top fighter in the Lightweight division has avoided Islam and he finally is in the position where he can irrefutably claim his right to the throne. Meanwhile the unjustly stripped King Do Bronx gets another chance to settle his title disputes.

Brief History of Charles

Brief history of Charles; he won his title shot by defeating then Rank #3 Tony Ferguson by submission. He then faced Bellator Superstar, Michael Chandler for all the lightweight marbles, and despite a tough match involving knockdowns on both sides Charles came out victorious with gold around his waist. He then went on to defend his title against Rank #1 Dustin Poirier and finished with a standing guillotine. 

Following his first title defense Charles was set to fight Justin Gaethje. However his title reign ran short as he was stripped when he couldn’t meet his champion weight requirements. Though this didn’t stop the Champion of the Favelas, Oliveira from successfully defending and taking out then Rank #1, Gaethje in superior fashion. Oliveira famously defeated Justin Gaethje in his previous outing but missed the scale by a mere half pound.

Since then the world’s perspective was shifted over to Charles’ side. He has become everyone’s favorite with his quotation “The Champion has a name, Its Charles Oliveira”. His opponents that doubted him, Chandler, Poirier, Gaethje and Tony Ferguson all have spoken out to his brilliant strategic gameplay and skill.

Charles’ capacity for deadly BJJ submissionist and sniper accurate striking, all the while maintaining amazing takedown defense and recuperating near immediately from potentially disastrous knockdowns makes him one of the most lethal lightweight champions ever. 

On the other-hand Islam Makhachev is quite likely one of the best Sambo wrestlers in the world only to Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov. With average striking and extremely strong takedown counter defense, he’s extremely capable of turning any fight around. 

Islam Makhachev from Makhachkala, Dagestan is a three time combat sambo Russian champion. Furthermore his UFC career, though blemished with one loss, has been flawless since and put him on a 11 fight win streak. 

Brief History of Makhachev

His most recent fight against Bobby Green was a decisive victory for him, solidifying his spot in the top 5 of the lightweight division. However the overall criticism for Makhachev is that he hasn’t fought any top ten fighter other than Bobby.  Charles Oliveira had this to say about his opponent’s title contention;

“I think we have to respect my opponent. Islam is coming with a 10-fight win streak. He is very smart with his game,” Oliveira said on UFC 280 Embedded. “However, I think he’s been surfing a wave that is not his, but Khabibs. That’s the truth.”

He went on to say: “This match is happening because Khabib made it happen. Not by Islam’s own merit. Because, in my opinion, he should be fighting against a Top 5 contender. Who’s the ranked contender that Islam fight? No one!”

Despite this Islam Makhachev is definitely one of the biggest submission and takedown threats in the entire division. Islam has an extremely powerful left hand. He also has had the opportunity to display that against one of Khabibs former rivals, Gleison Tibau. He would later show that same punching power again against Bobby Green. Otherwise he’s had very little to display in stopping power striking and that may be where he’s weakest.

Aljamain Sterling Vs TJ Dillashaw

The Bantamweight Champion Aljamain “Funk Master” Sterling will be fighting Rank #2 TJ “ “Lieutenant Dan” Dillashaw, an ex-Bantamweight Champion. TJ Dillashaw has famously given the audience a few upsets and coming into this match, we can’t help but expect him to pull off another one. 

On the other hand Aljamain may be the most underrated champion in UFC history. For all the bad press the guy got for his his first fight with Petr Yan, he can truly fight. Despite the fact that the first outing between him and Petr Yan ended in a disqualification (by knee to the head from Yan) win for Sterling. The rematch showcased a very different and much more well rounded fighter. It also may have been Yan’s worst performance.

Dillashaw also just came off a win against a very tough and technical Cory Sandhagen. Cory fought hard in that match and very nearly found the win as well a few times with his submission skills and superior reach advantage however despite this Dillashaw found the judges decision. 

As an overall Aljamain isn’t fighting prime Dillashaw. Who would have been the favorite for the fight but Dillashaw is 36 years old now and at the end of his career. Hence fighting a champion is favorable for him. At the same time it will solidify Aljamains reign, hence was a very smart fight selection from his side.

Petr Yan Vs Sean O’Malley

Another stunning match up between a hype train and a top ten contender. Sean O’Malley, Rank #11 may truly have the biggest fan following in the Bantamweight division. On the other hand Rank #1, Petr Yan is by far the most dangerous fighter in that same division. Yan however just came out of a title fight against the current champion Aljamain Sterling. And O’Malley just came out of a no contest match against Pedro Munhoz, whom he was evenly matched up against. But the fight got called off for an unintentional eye poke. UFC 280 will see these two Bantam giants face each other off.

Analysts and Pros alike believe that this match was too big a jump for Sean and that he isn’t ready for top five competition. Sean has fought Marlon Vera who is now Ranked #5, but lost that match to an injured leg and ground & pound. That is the only loss on his record.

Petr Yan however lost his last title shot against Sterling who out struck him throughout the match. So maybe this match up isn’t all that bad as both fighters are coming off losses and O’Malley. The less experienced of the two, has significant advantages in both reach and height against a devastating Muay Thai striker.

Beneil Dariush Vs Mateusz Gamrot

A big match for any other event. But here? This may be the most underrated match of the main card of UFC 280. However both of these fighters have displayed extreme explosive entertainment value multiple times over. Causing fans and pros alike to watch out for this fight in particular. Gamrot is extremely effective with both of his submission skills and striking. Beneil Dariush is one of the most powerful punchers in the lightweights and has some of the wildest endurance in the UFC.

Both fighters have impressive strength and a very real capacity to knock each other out. But furthermore both lightweights can also pull off ligament splitting submissions. Despite this Gamrot is slightly favored for the victory, seeing his recent performances and additionally taking in perspective Dariush’s long lay off.

Belal Muhammad Vs Sean Brady

Sean Brady is fighting “Remember the Name” Belal Muhammad as the big closing match of the Preliminary Card of UFC 280. For a card as big as this even the Preliminary Event gets main event treatment with top ten Brady and Belal. Belal is a brilliant striker known for giving more damage and creating significant strikes to find decision wins. Whereas Sean Brady is a technical BJJ expert while being a great striker too.

Sean Brady is coming into this fight with a five fight win streak and a lot of momentum before that too. He is the favorite for this fight but it could easily go both ways. Belal on the other hand has been training his sambo with Khabib Nurmagomedov. Belal is also likely to land more strikes and if the fight does go to the judges score card that might just be enough for him to win. Ex-RDX Ambassador, Sean Brady is our pick for this fight, there is little competition against such a well rounded fighter.

Muhammad Mokaev Vs Malcolm Gordon

Mokaev is the biggest prospect in the flyweight division, bringing together Russian Sambo to British Striking. He’s from Dagestan, Russia, the same place as Khabib and grew up in the UK. Malcolm Gordon is also a very decent fighter with two recent wins in the UFC and is known for both his jiu jitsu and kickboxing.

Muhammad “The Punisher”, Mokaev is quite likely the next big fighter for the flyweight division and is highly favored in this match up. Malcolm however could pull off the win with his extremely dangerous footwork.

Abubakar Nurmagomedov Vs Gadzhi Omargadzhiev

Abubakar Nurmagomedov, cousin to Khabib is another sleeper pick of the night. UFC 280 will see another of Khabibs family display their amazing skills against a very powerful Gadzhi Omargadzhiev. This welterweight bout is bound to have excitement as well seeing the amazing combat sambo experience of Abubakar and the punching power of Gadzhi. Gadzhi will be moving up a weight class for this fight but despite this his striking and takedown defense is extremely well rounded and this is bound to be problematic for Abubakar.

UFC 280 is going out on all the stops to be the biggest fight event of the year. Fight sport fans all over the world will witness the crowning of a Lightweight Champion, a Bantamweight Title bout and many potentially division altering fights that are bound to impress. RDX Sports stands by our friend Sean Brady and expects him to succeed and exceed all expectations. But even further into the Prelims there is potential for destructive brilliance. Fans, fighters and teams all over simply can not wait for this Saturday, Abu Dhabi, UFC 280; Oliveira Vs Makhachev.


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