We are now less than two weeks away from the biggest PPV event of the year with MMA fans globally excited for what should be an action-packed, two-title fight card from Abu Dhabi, UAE on October 22, 2022. UFC 280(s)main event features a highly anticipated fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev for the vacant Lightweight title.
The card also features a Bantamweight title fight between Aljamain Sterling and TJ Dillashaw as well as a number of other intriguing matchups.
Oliveira (33-8) vs Makhachev (22-1):
In the main event, former champion Charles Oliveira looks to regain his Lightweight title in what should be a highly competitive matchup with rising star Islam Makhachev.
Oliveira was stripped of his 155-pound title after failing to make weight in his last title defense vs Justin Gaethje. Makhachev is riding a 10-fight unbeaten streak with 6 of those fights ending by finish. The Russian phenom is the protege of Khabib Nurmagamadov and trains at the highly regarded American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California.
Makhachev (-190) has shown much improvement since his first professional loss and is currently the betting favorite over Oliveira. What makes this fight so interesting is that both fighters excel when on the ground.
Olivera has the most submissions in UFC history, while Islam Makhachev is a Sambo world champion. This will be an interesting stylistic matchup and has all the makings to be a very entertaining fight.
Aljamain Sterling (21-3) vs T.J. Dillashaw (17-4):
The Co-Main event of UFC 280 features a competitive matchup between current champion Aljamain Sterling and the former two-time 135-pound champion T.J. Dillashaw. Sterling won the title with an impressive victory over Peter Yan in April of this year.
Dillashaw is coming off a closely contested decision victory over Cory Sandhagen, the first time he had competed in over two years. Dillashaw’s extended absence was due to a USADA violation that led to his suspension and resulted in him being stripped of the Bantamweight title.
Dillashaw has not tasted defeat since 2019 and hopes to silence many critics with a title victory on October 22nd. The champion Sterling is training with the Serra-Longo fight team in Long Island, New York. Sterling showed off his Jiu-Jitsu prowess in his recent victory over Yan by controlling the fight on the ground for the majority of the contest.
However, Dillashaw is a two-time bantamweight champion who possesses some of the best kickboxing and take-down defense in the division. He is a veteran of seven UFC title fights.
Sean O’Malley (15-1) vs Peter Yan (16-3):
One of the most intriguing matchups at UFC 280 is between Peter Yan and Sean O’Malley. This fight has many MMA fans looking forward to seeing just how good Sean O’Malley is. The up-and-coming American superstar has made short work of his recent opponents with his last five victories coming by knockout.
O’Malley’s last fight, against Pedro Munhoz, ended in a No Contest due to an accidental eye poke. O’Malley was in control of the fight against Munhoz before the stoppage, which has propelled him up the rankings for this fight with #1 ranked Peter Yan. For Yan, this will be his first fight since losing the title to Aljamain Sterling.
Yan has repeatedly called for a rematch with Sterling since his defeat in April, and he will need a victory over O’Malley to keep his title aspirations alive. O’Malley is a dangerous opponent for Yan because he is exceptionally tall (5’11) for the 135-pound weight class and seems to gain confidence with every performance.
O’Malley will look to use his length as an advantage in this matchup, while Yan could seek to utilize his physical strength by taking fight to the ground.
Beneil Dariush (21-4) vs Mateusz Gamrot (21-1)
The lightweight division matchup between Dariush and Gamrot features may very well determine the next title challenger at 155 pounds. Dariush, ranked #6 in the world, is coming off impressive victories over Tony Ferguson and Deigo Ferreira in his last two fights.
Gamrot is ranked #9 in the world and is coming off a fight-of-the-night performance against Arman Tsarukyan in June. Gamrot is riding a four-fight winning streak into this matchup. This fight could go either way as both fighters are very well-balanced in their skills.
Gamrot was a former two-division champion in Europe and has impressed since making the move to the UFC. Dariush is a UFC veteran with 20 fights under his belt in the promotion.
Gamrot should have the advantage if the fight stays standing. Former jiu-jitsu champion Dariush would benefit from using his high-level grappling experience.
Rest of the Card:
The Prelims of UFC 280 features several fights that could be main events on any card. One of these fights is Belal Muhammad (21-3) vs Sean Brady (15-0). Muhammad is on an 8-fight unbeaten streak and is really turning the corner in his career as of late.
Sean Brady is an undefeated freak of nature from Philidelphia. Brady’s grappling and natural strength have been on display in his UFC performances, and he looks to continue his winning ways and remain unbeaten at UFC 280. Another fight on the prelims that should not disappoint is Nikita Krylov vs Volkan Oezdemir.
This is a fight between European knockout artists who always seek the finish. The Ukrainian Krylov is coming off his most impressive performance yet in his knockout win over Alexander Gustafsson.
Former title challenger Oezdemir is looking to climb back up the rankings after recent losses to top light heavyweight contender Magomed Ankalaev, and 205-pound titleholder Jiri Prochazka.
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