Another absolutely insane lightweight title fight takes place this month at UFC 280 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on October 22nd when Charles Oliveira takes on Islam Makhachev.
The 155-pound championship will be on the line as the two consensus best lightweight fighters in the world go head-to-head as the headliner in one of the most stacked cards in the companies history.
There will also be a bantamweight title fight between Aljamain Sterling and TJ Dillashaw in the co-main event, while former champion Petr Yan takes on one of the hottest up and coming fighters in the world in Sean O'Malley.
We'll take a look at the main event and provide you with our best free UFC picks to see if we can earn you some extra cash while watching an incredible fight card.
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UFC 280 Information
- Saturday, October 22nd, 2022
- Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Main card starts 2pm ET
- Lightweight (155-pounds) world championship bout
- 5 x 5 minute rounds
Charles Oliveira vs Islam Makhachev
This fight is going to be absolutely crazy and is arguably one of the very best the company has ever put on between two fighters, with so many split between who is going to come out on top.
Oliveira was stripped of the title on the scales last time out just prior to UFC 274 controversially, with a dodgy scale putting him above the title fight limit. But that didn't stop him taking out world class Justin Gaethje in the opening round when he knocked him down and then choked him out.
That took his win streak to 11 in a row, having initially won the title at UFC 262 when he KO'd Michael Chandler at the start of the second round, before submitting Dustin Poirier at UFC 269 in the third round of their bout to cement himself as the best in the world. He currently has a professional record of 33-8, with 21 wins by submission.
Makhachev on the other hand is on a sensational ten-fight win streak too, but the names on his list are a little less impressive. He submitted Drew Dober at UFC 259 and then Thiago Moises in his first main event, before a staple win over Dan Hooker at UFC 267 in the first round. He then earned a knockout win over Bobby Green last time out on short notice back in February.
He has a professional record of 22-1, with ten submission wins in his career to date. This will be his very first title shot in the UFC. They are officially ranked as the number one and number four lightweights in the organisation.
Route to Victory
This is going to be an exceptional fight stylistically between two guys who are used to dominating fights wherever they go, but especially on the ground.
Oliveira is the greatest submission artist in UFC history, with 16 wins via tap out during his run in the big time. However that ground game has allowed him to sharpen his tools on the feet and he has become a terrifying striker too, with legitimate knockout power and nasty kicks and knees too.
Makhachev on the other hand is a sambo specialist who is one of the best wrestlers in the UFC today, and is looking to take over his teammate and coach Khabib Nurmagomedov's legacy as the best lightweight in the world.
Makhachev's game is far more reliant on getting the fight to the ground than Oliveira's, with his suffocating style meaning once the fight goes to the mat it tends to stay there and he is able to progress positions and do damage to his opponent until he claims victory.
But to do that here he will have to stay super sharp on the mat to avoid any submissions from Oliveira, although a weakness of "Do Bronx" is his takedown defense because of how comfortable he is on the ground.
While the fight is standing Oliveira certainly has an advantage and he has the power to turn the lights out, but Makhachev comes into the fight as the favorite because nobody has ever been able to stop him putting the fight on the ground and controlling them.
Check out our review for MyBookie sports betting here.
UFC Picks - Oliveira gets it done
Stopping Makhachev will be insanely difficult to do and there is no blueprint to it, because nobody was able to stop his coach Nurmagomedov either.
But if anyone is capable of doing it, it's the uncrowned champ. His guard is incredibly active, with submissions for days and violent elbows too. But there is every chance that Makhachev just holds him down and controls the fight, taking little risks and winding down the clock from the very start.
Every fight starts on the feet and Oliveira puts on a crazy pace, walking forward with a Muay Thai stance and attacking the body with kicks as well as his boxing with crisp technique.
Makhachev will look to shoot in and get control early because he's in big danger on the feet, but people are absolutely underestimating Oliveira right now.
An 11 fight win streak, as the champion, on the wave of momentum he's currently on after beating the guys he has, I just don't think anyone is on his level right now. It'll be fun while it lasts, but back Do Bronx to get the win and back him to do it inside the distance too.
UFC Picks - Charles Oliveira to win @ +150
Check out our review for BetOnline sports betting here.