UFC 280 UK Time: Early odds indicate that Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev’s UFC 280 fight will be lopsided, but at least one lightweight contender disagrees.
The Oct. 22 pay-per-view event in Abu Dhabi will feature the former 155-pound champion Oliveira (33-8 MMA, 21-8 UFC) and Makhachev (22-1 MMA, 11-1 UFC) with the vacant title on the line. Makhachev reportedly started as a sizable -300 favourite, but Oliveira returned at +250, according to some bookmakers. The odds have since decreased to -205 for Makhachev and +155 for Oliveira at Tipico Sportsbook.
“It’s so close, man,” Dariush told MMA Junkie Radio. “I’m leaning towards Islam, but Charles can pull it off. He’s so aggressive. He can definitely pull off a victory. I know people are calling it an upset (if Oliveira wins), but I wouldn’t consider it an upset. I would say it’s like a pick-’em fight. Because how aggressive Charles is and how defensive Makhachev is, it’s a really intriguing matchup.”
The No. 1 spot in the most recent USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie lightweight rankings belongs to Oliveira, 32, who lost the title in May after failing to make weight by half a pound before submitting Justin Gaethje. This ranking is the result of an 11-fight winning streak that also includes victories against Kevin Lee, Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler to earn the gold, Dustin Poirier for the title, and Gaethje.
After a 10-fight winning streak that saw him defeat Thiago Moises, Dan Hooker, and most recently Bobby Green by TKO in February, Makhachev, 30, is ranked third at 155 pounds.
Makhachev, a pupil of Khabib Nurmagomedov, imitates the style of the UFC Hall of Famer, pulling down opponents and “smearing” them with ground and pound. The greatest Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner in UFC history, Oliveira, has already challenged Makhachev to submit and is fully aware of his opponent’s goals.
UFC 280 fight card, odds
- Islam Makhachev -200 vs. Charles Oliveira +170, vacant lightweight title
- Aljamain Sterling (c) -155 vs. TJ Dillashaw +130, bantamweight title
- Petr Yan -420 vs. Sean O’Malley +330, bantamweights
- Sean Brady -135 vs. Belal Muhammad +115, welterweights
- Beneil Dariush vs. Matuez Gamrot, lightweights
UFC 280 UK Time
- Date: Oct. 22
- Location: Etihad Arena — Abu Dhabi
- Start time: 2 p.m. ET (Main card)
- How to watch: ESPN+ PPV