Three number-one contenders. Two title fights. One event. That’s right, UFC 280 is finally here. You’d be hard-pressed to find a main card that stacks up with what the UFC has in store for this Saturday afternoon live from the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In the main event, Charles Oliveira looks to reclaim the title he lost in the spring. No.4 contender Islam Makhachev has other plans, and many feel he’ll upset Oliveira’s plans. Aljamain Sterling goes for another title defense at 135 pounds against No.2 TJ Dillashaw in the co-main event. Those fights are just the icing on the cake for those who plan to watch UFC 280.
Watch UFC 280: Oliveira vs Makhachev
When: Saturday, October 22, 2022
Prelims Start Time: 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT
Main Card Start Time: 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT
Location: Etihad Arena – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Outside of the headliners, UFC 280 remains an absolute must-watch from start to finish. Opening the card in the morning for viewers in the United States, No.9 Karol Rosa and No.12 Lina Lansberg battle in the top ten of the women’s bantamweight. They are two of the six ranked fighters on the preliminary card, capped off by No.5 Belal Muhammad hoping to hold off No.8 Sean Brady in the welterweight division. Top women’s flyweight challenger Kaitlyn Chookagian is an underdog in the first fight of the main card, and the Sugar Show is the featured bout of the night as No.11 Sean O’Malley faces his toughest test in No.1 bantamweight Petr Yan.
Oliveira (33-8-0) is on an 11-fight winning streak dating back to 2018, and he’s been doing it in style. “Do Bronx” has won seven of those contests by submission, and three others by strikes or knockout. The only reason he doesn’t enter UFC 280 as a champion is that he struggled on the scales going into his May bout with Justin Gaethje. To get there, he had taken down Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler, and Dustin Poirier in that order. None of those guys, perhaps, are what Makhachev is.
It may feel like Makhachev (22-1-0) is jumping the line a bit for a title shot, but the facts are that he’s next up in the order. On a 10-fight winning streak himself, Oliveira is undoubtedly the best competition the Russian has faced since entering the UFC in 2015. He catapulted into the top five last summer with a fourth-round submission of Thiago Moises in his first event headliner, following that up last October with a first-round submission of Dan Hooker. Though he was scheduled in February to face No.6 Beneil Dariush who also appears on the UFC 280 main card, he instead fought an unranked Bobby Green and took care of business.
The bout between Olveira and Makhachev is a dream for fans of grappling and wrestling in the Octagon. While both fighters possess knockout power, they are submission specialists through and through. The only question is whether their skill on the ground will cancel each other out. Makhachev opened fight week as a -190 favorite at the betting window compared to Oliveira at +160. Makhachev is favored to win by submission at +200 followed by Oliveira at +300 for the same method. The Brazilian is a massive underdog if the fight goes all five rounds, drawing +1200 action compared to +400 for the Russian.
UFC 280 Fight Card and Odds
*Odds are subject to change.
#1 Charles Oliveira (+155) vs #4 Islam Makhachev (-180) – Lightweight Title Bout
(C) Aljamain Sterling (-170) vs #2 TJ Dillashaw (+145) – Bantamweight Title Bout
#1 Petr Yan (-305) vs #11 Sean O’Malley (+255) – Bantamweight