UFC 280 Predictions – Oliveira vs. Makhachev – Oct 22
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will head over to the Middle East in October to host its pay-per-view card for the month. UFC 280 is set to take place at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates on October 22.
The UFC has built a strong fan base in the Middle East over the last few years as the premier MMA organization used Abu Dhabi as its base outside the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic.
UFC 280 will feature two title fights and is expected to do big pay-per-view numbers as the card will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev.
Main Event – Oliveira vs. Makhachev – Betting Odds
The unofficial champion is Brazilian star Charles Oliveira but he will enter the Octagon as the uncrowned champion. This is because Oliveira missed weight during his last title defense against Justin Gaethje in May 2022. While Oliveira went on to win the fight, he couldn’t retain his UFC lightweight belt.
He will take on crowd favorite Islam Makhachev who is fighting for the lightweight title for the very first time in the UFC. The winner of this match will be crowned the new lightweight champion.
Bet365 currently has Makhachev as the betting favorite with odds of 1.66 while the unofficial champ Oliveira is the betting underdog with odds of 2.25. Oliveira will not be fazed by going in as the betting underdog as he thrives under pressure. Makhachev has heavy fan support in the Middle East and will likely be under a lot more pressure than Charles Oliveira.
Oliveira has always been phenomenal on the ground and is a submission specialist. However, he has shown over the last few years a tremendous improvement in his striking and does have a lot of power in his hands. Makhachev is a great opponent as there’s arguably no one better in the lightweight division with a better ground game than Makhachev.
Makhachev has also shown a great improvement with his hands and believes he can stand and trade with Oliveira as well as take him down and be dominant. While Oliveira is the underdog, he has shown in times past that even if he gets dropped, he can bounce back and change the tempo of the fight very quickly.
Our betting experts don’t expect this fight to last all 5 rounds. We think Oliveira could end up pulling off a surprise and submitting Makhachev.
Co-Main Event – Sterling vs. Dillashaw – Betting Odds
The co-main event will feature a title fight in the bantamweight division as current champ Aljamain Sterling looks to defend his belt against former champ TJ Dillashaw. Sterling showed in his last title defense against Petr Yan that he is comfortable standing and trading shots or going to the ground.
Sterling has gone at Dillashaw on social media and in interviews claiming that the former champ was only good because he was using steroids. Dillashaw was banned for two years after testing positive and is looking to make another run for the title.
Bet365 has the champ as the betting favorite with odds of 1.62 while the challenger Dillashaw is the underdog with odds of 2.30. They say that styles make fights, and this co-Main Event has everything it needs to turn into a 5-round war. Dillashaw has great foot movement, and precision striking, and his ground game is underestimated.
We expect this fight to go all five rounds and we expect the champ to retain his belt by decision.
Other Exciting Fights to Watch Out For
The UFC has packed this card with several exciting fights that could easily slot in as the co-main event. Fans will not want to miss another bantamweight bout featuring form champ Petr Yan and Sean O’Malley. Sugar Sean has a huge fan following behind him and could earn himself a title shot if he manages to finish Yan.
Yan goes in as a huge betting favorite with odds of 1.25 while O’Malley goes in with odds of 4.0. Both fighters have exceptional fighting skills, but Yan could have the edge on the ground. The other factor we need to consider is that Yan has fought 5 round fights on multiple occasions while this will be new territory for O’Malley and his cardio could go the distance if it goes into the fifth.
We expect Yan to win this fight by stoppage as we believe he has too many tools to overcome O’Malley.
Also, watch out for a great fight in the lightweight division featuring the number 6 ranked Beneil Dariush and the number 9th ranked Mateusz Gamrot who is the betting favorite with odds of 1.53 while Dariush has odds of 2.62.
Our betting experts lean towards Gamrot as we believe has a far superior ground game, better cardio, and will throw more volume when it comes to strikes. Check out the UFC website to see the full fight card.